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Map, Illinois, Chicago, Pictorial, Clason, Two-sided Vintage Print, c. 1926


Chicago Motor Coach Pictorial Map of Chicago
The Clason Map Co., Denver: c. 1926
Color process print
34 x 22 inches

Promotional pictorial two-sided map of Chicago advertising the Chicago Motor Coach Company. The maps is particularly notable for its visual documentation of the city’s architecture from the rebuilding after the Chicago Great Fire in 1871 to about 1920. The main side has a map that shows the city from Howard Street to the north to West 87th Street to the south, and from Central Boulevard to the west to the waterfront to the east. The lower left corner has an inset “Outline Map of Chicago showing Boulevards, House Numbers, Through Streets, Chicago Motor Coach Co. Routes.” There is a map of downtown Chicago on the reverse side, which is centered vertically on the Chicago River. On both sides of the map, major buildings are labeled and depicted in detailed perspective drawings, shaded brown, including churches, schools, theatres, factories, municipal buildings, libraries, businesses, ­­and the Cubs and White Sox baseball stadiums. Parks and golf clubs are also illustrated, including their monuments, ponds, and paths. As a paragraph beneath the map title explains, “Some are shown because they are widely known and are of public interest; some for their beauty of architecture; many simply as being outstanding buildings or representative of the districts in which they are located.”

Product description continues below.


The routes of the Chicago Motor Coach Company are highlighted with bold colored lines on both maps, and with tiny drawings of buses. Ships and sailboats are shown in Lake Michigan. Streets, waterways, and beaches are labeled. No date appears on the map itself, which is typical of maps published by the Clason Map Co., but historian Robert Holland dates it to about 1926 in his book Chicago in Maps.

George Samuel Clason (1874-1957) was an American author, map maker and publisher. Born in Missouri, he attended the University of Nebraska and became a civil engineer. He started the Clason Map Company of Denver, Colorado, in 1903 and began publishing maps and a popular series of pocket-sized guides for travelers called “Green Guides” in 1906, which continued until it ceased operations in 1932 when the Great Depression forced it into bankruptcy. The Clason Map Company was the first to publish a road atlas of the United States and Canada and issued a series of state road maps between 1923 and 1931. Clason himself is best known for writing motivational essays on achieving financial success, which were initially published as pamphlets and later compiled into the classic book The Richest Man in Babylon — The Success Secrets of the Ancients, which is still in print.

Condition: Generally very good — the colors with the usual overall light toning, wear, handling. Folds as issued, with some additional misfolds, with only very minor toning and weaknesses at folds and intersections. Some slightly greater wear and discoloration at one fold area about 3 inches. A few stray small pale discoloration areas unobtrusive. Seller can have the map professionally flattened for framing at an additional expense to the Purchaser of approximately $250.


“George Samuel Clason.” Wikipedia. 28 Februrary 2020. (15 September 2020).

Grieves, Mark, and Carl Liedholm. “Clason Road Map & Atlas Site.” Michigan State University Libraries. (14 September 2020).

Holland, Robert A. Chicago in Maps: 1612-2002. New York: Rizzoli, 2005. pp. 192-193.

Liedholm, Carl. Road Map Collector’s Association, The Legend. No. 50, Spring 2011. (15 September 2020).

“Persuasive Maps, Atlas Maps, and Unique Treasures.” Osher Map Library.,maps%20of%20western%20metropolitan%20areas (15 September 2020).

Additional information


20th Century