[MAP / CEROGRAPH, 1845]. Mexico. [Inset]: Central America and Yucatan. Sidney Edwards Morse, Samuel Breese.
[MAP / CEROGRAPH, 1845]. Mexico. [Inset]: Central America and Yucatan
[MAP / CEROGRAPH, 1845]. Mexico. [Inset]: Central America and Yucatan
[MAP / CEROGRAPH, 1845]. Mexico. [Inset]: Central America and Yucatan

[MAP / CEROGRAPH, 1845]. Mexico. [Inset]: Central America and Yucatan

S.l. n.d. [1845]. Engraved map (305 x 410 mm), original outline color, relief shown by hachure. Very slight toning, top margin with four short tears (not touching image), evidence of previous adhesion to matte, horizontal crease and wrinkle. This map appeared as No. 35 in "Morse's North American Atlas," 1842 - [1845] (cover title: "Morse's Cerographic Maps"). Very good. Item #3558

ONE OF THE FIRST SPECIMENS OF CEROGRAPHIC ENGRAVING, a method using wax introduced by Morse and Breese in 1839. The cerographic technique marks the transition between maps meant to be saved and used over a period of time, and modern "disposable" mass-produced maps. Morse tried to keep the process secret, but it became widely used in mapmaking, especially after Rand-McNally used wax engraving in 1872.

Wax engraving remained an important map printing technique until the mid-twentieth century. Unlike engraving or lithography, which demanded the laborious drawing of a negative image, cerography allowed the image to be drawn directly -- the positive image is drawn onto a wax-covered plate that is then used as a mold from which a master printing plate is case by an electroplating process. Images could be easily cut into the soft wax layer using very little pressure. Various sized gravers could be used; commercial tools could stamp letters directly into the wax; even wheels with designs were used to draw boundary lines. See David Woodward, "The All-American Map: Wax Engraving and Its Influence on Cartography" (1977) and Judith A. Tyner, "Images of the Southwest in Nineteenth-Century American Atlases" in Reinhartz & Colley, "The Mapping of the American Southwest" (p. 70).

Phillips, Atlases 1228.

Price: $250.00