I have featured maps on this blog many times: maps allegorical, anthropomorphic, and antique, maps featuring octopuses, spiders, relationships and myriad places and perspectives. An ongoing exhibition of pictorial maps at the University of Southern Maine’s Osher Map Library has inspired me to examine this particular cartographical creation yet again–along with a recent ebay score of one of my favorite local pictorial maps, Alva Scott Garfield’s “Scott-Map of Salem, Massachusetts”. Maps with pictographic elements go way back, but the Osher exhibition is focused on the mid-twentieth century, identified as “The Golden Age of American Pictorial Maps”. I wanted to confirm this chronology in my own mind, so I began perusing the larger collection of pictorial maps at the David Rumsey Map Collection: casual browsing led me down the virtual rabbit hole, of course! Clearly you can map anything in a pictorial way: plants, animals, commodities, imaginary places, infrastructure and material culture, the past and the present: one of the major reasons the Osher exhibition identifies the mid-twentieth century as a golden age for these maps is the production of so many maps related to the campaigns of World War II, and these are among the most striking maps of this genre. I love global and national pictorial maps (a particular favorite is pictorial-map pioneer MacDonald Gill’s “Tea Revives the World”, produced in the darkest days of Britain’s World War II experience and pictured below), but the more I looked at the Osher and Rumsey maps and my newly-acquired Scott–Map of Salem the more parochial my perspective became. Since the golden age of pictorial maps was roughly coincidental with the Salem’s increasing identification as the Witch City, I wondered if this would be apparent on regional and local maps. How often did a witch mark Salem’s place on the map?
Two Patriotic Maps from 1940: “Tea Revives the World” by MacDonald Gill and “America–A Nation of One People from Many Countries”, published by the Council Against Intolerance in America, Rumsey Map Collection and Osher Map Library.
Quite often, it seems, though the struggle between Salem’s divergent commercial and cultural identities is also evident on local pictorial maps from the mid-twentieth century. Situated between the big shoe representing Lynn’s characteristic industry to the south and the fishermen of Cape Ann to the north, Salem is represented alternatively by either the House of the Seven Gables or a broom-mounted witch, and sometimes both. Coulton Waugh’s beautiful map of “Cape Ann and the North Shore” (1927) identifies Salem with the Gables and the famous ship Hazard, but over the next several years the witch appears on Griswold Tyng’s illustrated Map of the Eastern United States (1929), Harold Haven Brown’s Picture Map of Massachusetts (1930) and Elizabeth Shurtleff’s very detailed map of Massachusetts, “the Old Bay State” (1930). One of my very favorite pictorial maps, Raymond Lufkin’s “Old Massachusetts” produced for The House Beautiful in 1930, is focused on the state’s architectural heritage, so witchcraft is literally marginalized (along with another notable event in Salem’s history, the landing of the first elephant in North America). Surprisingly there is no witch on Paul Spener Johst’s 1931 picture map of Massachusetts (just a BIG pilgrim), but the increasingly-familiar figure returns on Elmer and Berta Hader’s cartoon map of Massachusetts published in 1932, from their Picture Book of the States. From that point on, the flying witch marks the spot of Salem on most pictorial maps. By the time we get to the end of the “golden era”, Salem is firmly established as the Witch City on Ernest Dudley Chase’s official travel map of Historic Massachusetts, and the “Scott-Map of Salem” can make the rather whimsical claim that “aviation started in Salem”.
How Salem is marked on the map, 1920s-1960s: ABOVE: Coulton Waugh’s map, 1927; details of Tyng US Pictorial map, 1929, Brown “Picture Map“, 1930, and Shurtleff map, 1930; “Old Massachusetts” published by The House Beautiful, 1930; Johst map of Massachusetts, 1931; Hader pictorial map of Massachusetts, 1932; BELOW: Ernest Dudley Chase’s Historic Massachusetts, “A Travel Map to help you feel at home in the Bay State”, 1957 (published by the Massachusetts Department of Commerce) and Alva Scott-Garfield’s “Scott-Map of Salem, Masschusetts”, 1960.
July 10th, 2016 at 2:13 pm
Reblogged this on Stories From Ipswich and commented:
From one of my favorite blogs, Streets of Salem…
July 10th, 2016 at 2:35 pm
Have you ever spent an afternoon at the Harvard Map Collection? It is in the basement of Lamont Library, or it was when I was there.
July 10th, 2016 at 3:01 pm
Not an afternoon, Richard: I popped by once when I was working at Houghton, but didn’t really have time to delve in. My map obsession has developed only lately, actually.
July 10th, 2016 at 2:56 pm
[…] Source: Marked by a Witch […]
July 10th, 2016 at 10:13 pm
I always enjoy your blog articles. I always open them right away when they come However this one was a real adventure. It has put a smile on my face. Thanks so much. I grew up being really fascinated by cartoon maps. In addition you’ve given me a great resource of information for the book I am working on Regarding my family and it’s various generations. This were working perfectly with the chapter from the 1900s talking about how our attitudes towards our world has changed. I’m using a lot of maps as it is to show how excited we were about finding a new world and then gradually getting to know what and settling it. What a contrast this will be with your earlier maps. I am already looking into the exhibition you’re going to Seshan and their terms for use of the maps thanks. Sam NYC
July 11th, 2016 at 7:35 am
Thank you, Sam! I appreciate your comments. It’s a very nice exhibition, and can be supplemented by a variety of sources, expecially the Rumsey collection–which is a goldmine!
July 11th, 2016 at 9:08 am
Reblogged this on Janet’s thread.
July 17th, 2016 at 2:00 am
Reblogged this on Lenora's Culture Center and Foray into History.