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176th anniversary of statehood

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The territory of Michigan became a state on January 26, 1837.

This map shows the area of MI from an 1845 atlas, which was published in Boston by Thomas Bradford.


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Interesting about your son - I have loved some specialty stores in my time but I guess their days are really numbered now. Ones that come to mind are Wheelock's typewriter store in New Haven (still going, but barely; he was featured in the most recent Yale Alumni magazine); the Do It Yourself Bookstore in Philadelphia, that stocked only DIY or Teach Yourself types of books, it had thousands of titles on its shelves; and the bookstores of museums etc. like the one at the New York Botanical Gardens. But I had a pretty strong negative reaction to the marketplace approach when I went to the Metropolitan Museum of Art last week, they had a gift shop every 50 yards or so, it really detracted from the experience. It was the "real world" equivalent of getting a (you must watch this, you can't avoid it) commercial when you click on a news story you want to read on the interwebs.


I was searching for a map to use for this puzzle and was amazed that even USGS maps would be on sites that would restrict use. My resident retired gov't official says that gov't often lets out maps, such as those made by USGS, to profit making entities so as not to be in competion with the profiteers, though he didn't use the term "profiteers." That is my choice of words after teaching gov't, economics, history and the like.

I was also intregued that even historical maps are now in sites with restrictions. I was used to referring students to a Texas university site for good maps of countries for some of their projects, but when I went to that site, they were even giving links to the for-profit sites. I had thought that maps in atlases of libraries might now be on-line. Surprising to find that discovery. IF I hadn't thought to make the puzzle so close to statehood day I could have waited for permission from some of the sites.

Son worked in a book store and got an opportunity to go to a geography conference in Dublin, in the 1990's. He loved stocking and handling the maps for that particular book store. He thought he would like to open a map store, but I suggested that just maps could be a bit limiting for a steady income. It seems that most small businesses need some diversity of goods to make it in a small market place.


I have a bunch of good books on maps and the basic idea they present is that making original maps takes an immense amount of work in surveying, exploration etc. and artistic ability, graphic sensibilities, printing resources etc. So most Atlases have actually been rip-offs (or reprints if they bothered to get permission) of earlier work, often much out-of-date. This one seems to fit that bill. An accurate map meant power, whether in the hands of governments, militaries, or businesses, so there was always a tension between investment in accuracy on the one hand and secrecy - keeping the information to yourself on the other. This tension militated against up-to-date maps being published for the general public. Today these fights are being fought in the Google wars and the Wiki skirmishes.


David --

I remembered reading something about the title of the 1845 atlas from which this map was taken, and I went back to find it. The title of Bradford's atlas is: "A Comprehensive Atlas Geographical, Historical, & Commerical ." The commerical part no doubt explain why there are scales for various countries. I wonder when the map of MI was rendered. I would think by 1840 that some who were on the Great Lakes would have a better idea of the western shoreline. If a book was published in 1845 the map would have been rendered earlier. And, could this particular rendering of MI be an example of a historical map of MI? Curious.

We knew with our history/government texts that even if they were a very recent publication, that many of the items were already at least two years or more old. Especially in gov't texts, the examples and photos would be of events in the recent past, but not in the last year. Our history texts only took a very brief look at the most recent years, but then it would be hard to teach the history of even 4 or 5 years past. I preferred to use examples from current events with all the historical eras I was teaching, provided it related to something we were studying, such as trade, laws, etc.


Thank you, David.

I am amused by the western shoreline of Michigan's lower peninsula. Could this be a foretelling of what coast lines will look like along our ocean-bordering states if climate change has the effect some are predicting? ; )


This map also shows a rather late example of the reasons why the metric system was needed - all those scales at the bottom for Spanish miles, English miles, Dutch miles, French miles, German miles, all of which were slightly off from each other!


Interesting that the map was done in German. I love old maps. This one has a very interesting take on the western shoreline (Lake Michigan side) and Saginaw Bay...not quite Google Earth...
Thanks for the history, RH!


Thank you, Aslindy and PLG.

Interestingly MI rarely has any public celebration on this date, most of the celebration of MI happens during Michigan Week in May. Odd. : ) LOL


Very cool! Thanks, RH!


This is great! I live in Michigan. =)