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Map, Caribbean, Pictorial, Trinidad, Asphalt, Edward Everett Henry, Vintage Print, 1936-38

$1,175

Edward Everett Henry (1893-1961) (after)
Trinidad: The Land of the Hummingbird
New York: c. 1936-1938
Color process print
Signed in the matrix: “Everett Henry N.Y.C.”
15.75 x 19 inches, image
19 x 22.5 inches, overall
$1,175

A promotional pictorial map produced for the Barber Company, an American asphalt company that imported its raw materials from Trinidad. It takes the form of a map of a section of the Western Hemisphere centered on the Caribbean Sea, where Trinidad is circled in red, and a large inset map of the island of Trinidad, “enlarged to permit the showing of the scope of its activities.” The island of Tobago, which is part of the nation known as Trinidad and Tobago, is omitted, presumably because Trinidad was the focus of the Barber Company’s commercial asphalt interests. The Trinidad map has simple geography, with rivers, swamps, and major cities labeled. Agricultural products are also depicted and labeled, along with small figures performing agricultural activities, enjoying resort activities in Port of Spain, and most prominently, working in the oil fields and Asphalt Lake that provided the Barber Company’s asphalt. Hills and forests are represented pictorially by green mounds and stylized trees respectively. In the lower right is an illustration of a a tropical beach with a monkey, an armadillo, and man, possibly standing guard, in a white jacket and safari helmet. Beneath the title is a picture of a hummingbird at a flower. There is a small compass rose in the lower right corner. This map is apparently very rare; we were not able to find any other examples of it, or references to it.

Product description continues below.

Description

The U.S. portion of the map shows the Barber Company plants in Maurer, New Jersey, and Madison, Illinois, as small illustrations of the factory buildings. There are also illustrations of a farm, two industrial buildings, a classical institutional building with columns, and other buildings that look like residences. Some major rivers are represented, and mountain ranges are indicated by green hills. The only locations labeled are the U.S. ports of Houston, Gulfport, and Norfolk, with small ships nearby in the oceans, presumably showing where the asphalt arrived for the company’s plants. In the upper right is a brief timeline within an oval describing Trinidad’s colonial history: Columbus landing in 1498 and claiming the island for Spain, the British takeover in 1797 and subsequent skirmishes with the Spanish, and ending in 1870 when the Barber Company began importing Trinidad Lake Asphalt to the U.S. This text is surrounded by illustrations of the historical events it describes.In the upper left corner above them is promotional copy:

Up from the tropics
Comes Trinidad Lake asphalt
The vital element ……
To protect America’s buildings

The Barber Asphalt Company was founded in 1878 by Amzi L. Barber in Washington, D.C. Over the ensuing decades it was acquired by different corporations and its headquarters moved a few times. In 1936, Barber was absorbed into General Asphalt, which changed the name to Barber Company, Inc. In 1938, the name was changed again, to Barber Asphalt Corporation. This helps date this map to between 1936 and 1938. The company was liquidated in 1980-1981.

Edward Everett Henry was an illustrator and muralist based in New York City, and later resided in New Canaan, Connecticut, and East Hampton, Long Island. Henry studied at the New York School of Fine and Applied Arts and by 1917 he was teaching there. He enlisted in the army during World War I and applied his artistic talent to working in the Camouflage Corps. After the war, he worked regularly as an illustrator for advertising campaigns, books, and magazines such as the Saturday Evening Post and Collier’s. In 1935 he was commissioned by Ford Motor Company to produce a large world map mural for its building at the San Diego World’s Fair. He then entered into partnership with artists Louis Bouché and Allen Saalburg to design and paint murals for other corporate and commercial projects — the Pennsylvania Railroad and the 1939 New York World’s Fair, among others. Beginning in 1928 until the end of this life he also produced a number of pictorial maps: a double hemisphere world map for the Washington Square Book Shop (1928), a map of the United States for Rand McNally (1930), a map of Trinidad for Barber Asphalt Company (c. 1936-38), a map of the United States showing “your premium dollars at work” for the John Hancock Mutual Life Insurance Company (1958), a map of East Hampton for the Chamber of Commerce (1960), and a series of nine literary maps related to classic works such as Moby Dick and Robin Hood (1953-1961). He also made pictorial estate plans for private clients. As author Stephen Hornbsy notes in his history of pictorial maps, Henry had a gift for “successfully combining text and image” of complex subjects in a manner that is highly effective at conveying information with clarity and visual appeal.

Condition:  Generally very good with only light toning and wear and some extremely pale minor scattered foxing.

References:

“Barber Asphalt Company.” My Companies Company Histories. https://mycompanies.fandom.com/wiki/Barber_Asphalt_Company (4 May 2020).

“E. Everett Henry.” AskArt.com. 2000-2008. http://www.askart.com/askart/h/e_everett_henry/e_everett_henry.aspx (3 November 2008).

“Edward Evertt Henry [1893-1961]: artist, camoufleur & cartographer.” Barron Maps Blog. 9 October 2017. http://www.barronmaps.com/edward-everett-henry-1893-1961/ (4 May 2020).

Hornsby, Stephen J. Picturing America: The Golden Age of Pictorial Maps. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2017. pp. 79, 99, 108-109, 119, 183, 243-244, 251.

Additional information

Century

20th Century