kolbykirk.com

the journal

Aug
2

A Treasure of Maps

Filed Under graphic design, international travel, retrotravels.net

National Geographic Maps

A treasure of maps was recently “dug up” in my parent’s storage space and returned to me.  Around 1994, when I moved away from home to attend college, I was forced to get rid of most of my National Geographic Magazines – a nearly-complete collection of every issue back to 1929.  However, I was able to keep all of the supplements/inserts since they didn’t take up much room.  I’ve been looking through the three boxes and have found more than just maps, folded posters, and old panoramic photos. I’ve also found one of the reasons why I love travel. I think most people would start to feel a desire to explore the world after looking at a few maps. The beautiful and distinct fonts, the colors, the clarity. A National Geographic map is good enough to hang up on the wall and call it “art.” In fact, President Roosevelt used National Geographic maps in the White House Map Room during World War II. Today, a case of world maps presented by the National Geographic Society still resides in the Map Room.

Below you will find a small selection of the hundreds of maps from my collection showing “snap shots” of the quality work National Geographic has produced in their world-famous cartographic department. If it takes a while to load or you’d like to view them in a flickr slideshow (800 x 800p res) by clicking here.

Have the urge to share a story about your National Geographic magazines or maps? Share it in the comments!

1965_Viet Nam Cambodia Laos & Eastern Thailand
Viet Nam, Cambodia, Laos & Eastern Thailand (1965)

1963_Scandinavia
Scandinavia (1963)

1963_Australia
Australia (1963)

1962_West Indies
West Indies (1962)

1961_South Central United States
South Central United States (1961)

1960_Japan & Korea
Japan & Korea (1960)

1960_Hawaii
Hawaii (1960)

1960_Africa
Africa (1960)

1958_Southern South America
Southern South America (1958)

1958_British Isles
British Isles (1958)

1956_Alaska
Alaska (1956)

1955_Eastern South America
Eastern South America (1955)

1954_West Indies
West Indies (1954)

1953_The Great Lakes Region
The Great Lakes Region (1953)

1953_China Coast & Korea02
China Coast & Korea (1953)

1953_China Coast & Korea
China Coast & Korea (1953)

1949_The Top of the World
The Top of the World (1949)

1949_Europe & The Near East
Europe & The Near East (1949)

1949_Classical Lands of The Mediterranean
Classical Lands of The Mediterranean (1949)

1947_Southeastern US
The Southeastern United States (1947)

1946_USA
The United States of America (1946)

1945_The Philippines
The Philippines (1945)

1945_Northeastern US
The Northeastern United States (1945)

1943_Pacific Ocean
The Pacific Ocean (1943)

1942_Theater of War in the Pacific Ocean
The Theater of War in the Pacific Ocean (1942)

1941_Indian Ocean
The Indian Ocean (1941)

1941_Atlantic Ocean
The Atlantic Ocean (1941)

1937_The white mountains of New Hampshire
The White Mountains of New Hampshire (1937)

1935_Africa02
Africa (1935)

1935_Africa01
Africa (1935)

1932_Arctic Regions
Arctic Regions (1932)

1930_Louisiana
Louisiana (1930)

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  • http://sowritealready.blogspot.com Paperback Writer

    Would it disturb you too much to tell you that I cut up some National Geographic maps to help myself learn how to coptic bind books? I’m still getting the hang of it, but I liked how the end result turned out.

  • http://www.kolbykirk.com kahunna

    Nooooooo! Actually, as long as it wasn’t more than 40-50 years old, cutting up a National Geographic would be just as detrimental as cutting up a newspaper from the same time. In 1958, NatGeo was pumping out 2 million copies a month and the numbers kept climbing every year. Now, over 9 million are sold on stands in over 30 countries and 50 million subscribers find the yellow-bordered mag in their mailbox every month.

    If you decided to test your book-binding skills on a map of Massachusetts from the first issue in October, 1888, then yes, I would be very disturbed. ;-)

    You going to post your newly-founded bookbinding skillz on flickr?

  • http://sowritealready.blogspot.com paperback writer

    :) The maps were from 20 years ago. I don’t think I could bring myself to cut up a map that was 40 – 50 years old! :) I think I have to dig up my parents National Geographic Issues. They are probably gathering dust in the basement.

    I’m working on showing off my book binding skills via flickr. :)

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  • John Alex

    what a great collection of old maps. I was a map collector when I was younger and would have loved to own this collection. Well done and keep up the good work.

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    This is a real antique treasure, do this kind of collections have high market value? Is this for sale?

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    I can understand how it would be get rid of the National Geo Mags, I also collected these magazines from the days when there was NAT GEO channel too, I lost them sometime back and just got so depressed..

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    Thanks for your post, the images were useful to me for my college project..

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    I should say you have some very good old resources which may not be found so easily.. in your place I would keep them handy..

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    You wont believe this my wife used the NatGeo mags for bonfire.. I could not believe this but could not help it too.. how can somebody to do this..

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    It would be really nice to have such old maps..

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    Thats a very good collection..

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    What an amazing collection of maps – makes me want to travel just looking at them.

  • Mark

    What a site it is!! Excellent design..the clarity of maps are too good..Nice post..

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    hey this is an awesoe colleciton dude.. wowww… very eager to see this!!!

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    Hello, its such a wonderful map list i have ever seen.But i think if you like to travel in these pictures then you must have good travel insurance with you.

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    Excellently written article, if only all bloggers offered the same content as you, the internet would be a much better place. Please keep it up! Cheers.

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    You’re the 2nd person I’ve known that collects National Geographic magazines and is fascinated with travel maps as well. Cheers to you and good luck on your next travel destination.

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  • Judy_05

    I just came across your Flickr picture and this site. I can’t really travel well and have wunderlust – I will be enjoying your travels and pictures with great joy. Thank you for sharing.