Merry-maker's Map of San Francisco
Bawdy Humorous Pictorial Map, c. 1940s

This item is sold. It has been placed here in our online archives as a service for researchers and collectors.

Merry-maker's Map of San Francisco
Merry-maker's Map of San Francisco
Merry-maker's Map of San Francisco
Merry-maker's Map of San Francisco Merry-maker's Map of San Francisco

Back (above left) and detail (above right).

Milt Schenkofsky (act. 1930s-1940s)
Merry-maker's Map of San Francisco
Richard F. Guggenheim, San Francisco: c. 1940
Color process print
20.25 x 27.25 inches, overall
Sold, please inquire as to the availability of similar items.

Humorous and bawdy bird's-eye view pictorial map of San Francisco, the tone of which is summed up by the subtitle on the back: "A Pixelated Pilot for Guys and Gals in Search of the Three Dees," those being understood as Dinner, Dancing and Drink. The city's buildings are rendered as simplified blocky structures shaded red and pink. The streets are teeming with small cartoon figures, a number of which are scantily-clad women. Originally the map was designed as a folding pocket map, presumably for actual use, to locate the 49 highlighted restaurants, cocktail lounges, nightclubs and bars. These establishments are listed in the legend under the subtitle, "Pilot for pixilated philanderers with a penchant for getting pickled," which is being shown to a top-hatted tourist by a showgirl dressed only in stockings and heels and a winking devil in formal dress. The legend provides addresses and brief descriptions such as, "Bernstein's Grotto--123 Powell: Sea foods you'll rave over," and includes unconventional venues like "Finochhio--506 Broadway: Renowned female impersonators, bar."

The map emphasizes the city's reputation for sexual license and uninhibited entertainment, especially in the neighborhood known as The Barbary Coast. However, more typical tourist attractions on this map are also labeled: beaches, museums, neighborhoods, parks and landmarks. Ships are docked at the piers, an airplane flies over the ocean, and a compass rose is drawn in perspective as if floating on the bay. Alongside the many raucous illustrations, the six text panels in the upper section offer conventional guidebook-style descriptions of "The Old Barbary Coast," "The Latin Quarter," "The Golden Gate Park," "The Bridges," "Chinatown" and "Landmarks." This item was produced to fold into a self-mailer, and is printed on the back with a cover panel and address panel labeled "To" with a rectangle for positioning a postage stamp, suggesting it was sold as a novelty souvenir as well as a promotion for, and guide map to, the featured bars, restaurants and clubs.

Milt Schenkovsky was a cartoonist and illustrator apparently based in the San Francisco Bay area and active during the 1930s and 1940s. He also illustrated humor books and published his own book of poems called Virgin Sturgeon.

Richard F. Guggenheim was a San Francisco publisher, whose irreverent titles included Jack Lord's book Where to Sin in San Francisco, originally published in 1939 and reprinted several times until at least 1953.

Full publication information: Richard F. Guggenheim, Publisher -- 200 Bush Street, San Francisco.