Boston Police Wallet, Booklet with Map
Boston: 1862-63
Map of Boston
Detail of cartouche Detail of booklet
Detail of wallet Detail of wallet Detail of wallet
Louis Prang & Co. (map)
J.E. Farwell & Co. (printer)
Special Rules and Regulations for the Government of the Boston Police
J.E. Farwell & Co., Boston: 1863
Booklet with fold-out map in leather covers
Incorporated in black morocco wallet with gilt stamped title
9.5 x 12.5 inches, map
5.75 x 4 inches, wallet closed
Sold, please inquire as to the availability of similar items.

Boston Police rules and regulations booklet in its original wallet with a fold-out map of Boston, printed in color by Louis Prang. The booklet is a handbook of “Special Rules and Regulations for the Government of the Boston Police” and its covers are incorporated into the wallet. The foldout map is colored to highlight police and fire districts, along with hotels, public buildings, railroad tracks, ward boundaries, streets and shoreline. A map key and legend in the lower right corner shows where to find important landmarks such as government buildings, hotels, rail depots and markets. The pebbled black morocco leather wallet is titled in gilt “Boston Police” on the outer flap, and in addition to containing the booklet and map also has a slot for a pencil and a pocket on the inside, and a small loop on the backside.

The booklet contains detailed explanations of police district boundaries, as well as protocols for officers. For example, “To Restore Persons Apparently Drowned,” it recommends as follows: “Send quickly for Medical Assistance. Cautions.-- Lose no time. Avoid all rough usage. Never hold the body up by the feet. Nor roll the body on casks. Nor rub the body with salt or spirits. Nor inject tobacco-smoke or infusion of tobacco.”

Louis Prang (1824-1909), the publisher of the map in the booklet, was a lithographer and wood engraver. He trained as a calico printer in his native Germany, but fled the country under suspicion of participation in the Revolution of 1848 and eventually emigrated to the U.S. in 1850. He learned wood engraving in Boston and worked at that trade until 1856 when he went into the lithography business with Julius Mayer as Prang & Mayer. In 1861 he established Louis Prang & Co. The company published a variety of hand colored lithographs and chromolithographs including views, historical subjects, illustrations of events and portraits of important figures of the Civil War, prints after paintings by famous artists including Winslow Homer, and maps. Prang started a successful line of Christmas cards in the 1870s as well as an annual card design contest that attracted top artists, and had a central role in popularizing the custom of sending them in America. He also branched out into selling art supplies -- the Prang brand is still sold today. In addition, he published a popular series of instructional drawing books. He retired in 1899.

J.E. Farwell & Co. was a Boston printing firm during the mid 19th century.

Full map cartouche: “Map of Boston, 1862. Photographically reduced from the Plans of James Slade, City Engineer. With all the latest improvements. A Complete Guide to Strangers, Giving the distances from City Hall, in 1/4 Mile Circles. Showing distinctly the Hotels, Public Buildings, Steam & Horse Rail-Roads, Ward Boundaries, & Fire A. Districts. Printed in Oil Colors. Entered accordingly to Act of Congress in the Year 1862, by L. Prang & Co. in the Clerks Office of the District Court of Mass.”


Groce, George C. and Wallace, David H. The New-York Historical Society’s Dictionary of Artists in America 1564-1860. New Haven: Yale University Press, 1969. p. 514.

Peters, Harry T. America on Stone. U.S.: Doubleday, Doran, 1931. pp. 327-328.