Collection of four large detailed colorful wall-sized maps of the New York City metropolitan area. Areas shown are listed in the subtitle of the print: "Embracing the Counties (or portions thereof) of New York, Kings, Queens, Westchester, Richmond, Rockland & Orange, New York. Hudson, Essex, Union, Bergen, Passaic, Middlesex & Morris, New Jersey. Also a portion of Fairfield Co., Conn."
The key identifies symbols representing boulevards and prominent roads, country roads, poor roads, railroads, elevated roads, rapid transit roads, aqueducts and canals, and marshes & low lands. Cities and incorporated towns are shown colored by wards. Figures are given showing the depths of water and the names of some residences are indicated.
Issued as four folding maps, backed on linen in two separate covers, each housing two maps. The covers are labeled "North-West and South-West" and "North-East and South-East."
E. Belcher Hyde, Inc. published detailed maps for the fire insurance industry which were updated on an annual basis based on surveys by Hyde employees. The degree of detail and specificity of these maps allowed the insurance companies to estimate the liability of certain properties because they showed every structure in an area, its building materials and size, its function, and other pertinent information about the street and surroundings. The company also published maps and atlases, including road maps, from the late 19th century and well into the 20th century, of Manhattan, Brooklyn, Queens and the New York Metropolitan area.
William Bracher was a German-born engraver who emigrated to the U.S., working in Philadelphia.
Condition: Generally very good with the usual light overall toning, wear, soft creases, and some minor separations at intersections of folds. The covers very good with little wear, mostly to spine.
"Historical Maps and Atlases: Belcher Hyde and Sanborn Company Maps." Queens Borough Public Library. http://www.queenslibrary.org/central/longisland/maps_bhyde.asp (11 August 2003).
Young, William, Ed. A Dictionary of American Artists, Sculptors and Engravers. Cambridge, Massachusetts: William Young and Co., 1968, p. 60.