This is a 1911 Indexed County and Township Pocket Map and Shipper’s Guide of Montana published by Rand McNally & Co. The folding pocket map was published in Chicago and printed as a color lithograph. This beautifully detailed map would have served not only travelers, but those shipping goods to Montana, and relocating to the area. All railroads in the state at the time are named and shown in bright red lettering. In the left margin, a list of “Chief Cities” and their populations are shown down the length of the map.
Included in the framing is the original booklet cover for the traveler’s map with a description of the contents. The booklet cover names the publisher, and advertises the inclusion of “all railroads, cities, towns, villages, post offices, lakes, rivers, etc”. Additionally, the map boasts it “is corrected to date,” indicating it is an updated version from the original 1909 printing.
During the late 19th century and early 20th century, Montana’s population and infrastructure was quickly growing. After the initial gold mining boom in the 1860s and subsequent naming as a Territory in 1864, Montana continued to grow its population. Miners weren't the only early settlers in Montana. Cattle ranches began flourishing in western valleys during the 1860s as demand for beef in the new mining communities increased. After 1870, open-range cattle operations spread across the high plains, taking advantage of the free public-domain land. During the 1880s railroads crossed Montana, and the territory became a state in 1889. Railroads played a huge role in the state’s economy as general transportation, a significant driver of tourism to sites like Yellowstone Park, and as shipper of Montana’s natural goods across the country.
Hardrock mining also began at this time. Butte became famous when silver and copper were discovered. The Anaconda Copper Company, owned by Marcus Daly, became one of the world's largest copper mining companies and exercised inordinate influence in the state. Cattle and sheep ranches continued to take advantage of Montana's abundant grasslands and the passage of the Enlarged Homestead Act in 1909 brought tens of thousands of homestead farmers into the state looking for inexpensive land.
Travelers first coming to the state would have needed portable pocket maps such as this one to understand the area. Professional shippers could also make good use of the information presented. Knowing where rivers, cities, railroads, etc. are was instrumental when planning a shipment route and this pocket map would have provided all of the necessary information.
The publisher Rand McNally began in 1856 printing train directories, travel guides, and newspapers. In 1872, the company printed its first map and soon earned significant fame for their annual atlases. Alongside atlases and newspapers, Rand McNally also produced traveling maps such as the one presented here. Today, the company is still around and produces many modern maps and traveling resources.
Color-lithographed folding map. Creases along fold lines, as expected, but no splits. Creasing along corners but paper is healthy. Printed color is still vibrant. Original soft cover booklet still intact and presented in frame. Cover has overall toning as well as creasing at corners, from past use. Booklet includes a 38 page index. Map Sheet Dimensions: 21” H x 28” W.
Map has been archivally framed in a custom-built wooden frame with acid-free brown linen top mats, wooden spandrels, and a custom plaque. Framed Dimensions: 38 1/4" H x 44 1/4" W x 1 3/4" D.
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