Wednesday, November 23, 2011

New Orleans 1834

In 1833, New Orleans appointed Charles Zimpel as deputy city surveyor. By that time, he had already surveyed the city for the construction of the New Orleans and Carrollton Railroad, and with financial backing and revenues from subscriptions, he took his map design to Prussia for printing. Each engraved map was printed from six copperplates on paper manufactured in Berlin. In 1836, The New Orleans Bee advertised that five hundred copies were available to subscribers and other purchasers, and explained that the copies had been delayed by a previous shipment’s loss at sea. A reporter for the Washington Daily National Intelligencer who saw the map for sale in the New Orleans Stationer’s Hall in 1840 proclaimed it “the most accurate and beautifully executed map in the United States.” There are only six known surviving copies.

Picture credits: Upper: Detail of the Compass Rose from Lower image: Charles Zimpel. Map of New Orleans and its Vicinity embracing a distance of twelve miles up, and eight and three quarter miles down the Mississippi River, and Part of Lake Pontchartrain representing all Public Improvements existing and projected and important Establishments, accompanied by a Statistical table, containing the most accurate Illustrations; prefaced by a Splendid View of New Orleans, & Compiled from actual surveys and the best authorities. 1834. Digital Scan of 50% Scale Photostat, Guy Seghers Office Records, Southeastern Architectural Archive, Special Collections Division, Tulane University Libraries.

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