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Map, New York City, Brooklyn, Pocket Map, J.B. Beers, Antique Print, 1878


J.B. Beers & Company
Map of Kings County Including the City of Brooklyn from Official Records and Surveys

New York: 1878 (copyright 1875)
Hand-colored lithograph
Folds into gilt embossed titled cloth covers, as issued
27.75 x 41.25 inches, map
6 x 4 inches, covers

Pocket map for visitors to Brooklyn, New York, of typical format. Ward boundaries established in 1867 are numbered. Major streets are highlighted in pink, major parks and cemeteries are indicated in green. A small portion of what are now the Ridgewood and Glendale neighborhoods of Queens are shown, labeled “Newtown.” The map itself is dated 1878 with a copyright of 1875, though the original embossed cloth covers give the date as 1879, presumably when it was bound.  The Brooklyn Bridge, which began construction in 1869 and opened in 1883 is shown on the map as “East River Suspension Bridge.”  OCLC locates three examples of this map: British Library, New York State Library, and the New York Historical Society Library.

Product description continues below.


Brooklyn — currently one of five boroughs of New York City — was the third largest city in the United States in 1878. It narrowly voted to consolidate with New York City in 1898. The  City of Brooklyn had evolved out of six distinct towns in Kings County, most developed during the Dutch colonial period: Brooklyn, Bushwick, New Utrecht, Gravesend, Flatbush, and Flatlands. This large pocket map provides a detailed view of the major growth of Brooklyn as a city in the decade following the end of the Civil War. Brooklyn had played a major role in supplying troops and materiel for the American Civil War. It had served a major role in building ships in the war, and this led the way for its continued industrial and commercial expansion thereafter. By 1878, when this map was published, the plans for its streets and rails were well developed.

Members of the Beers family made a major contribution to 19th century American cartography. J.B. Beers & Company was founded in 1870 by James Botsford Beers (b. 1811) and his son, Frederick W. Beers. Another son, John Clark Beers, and his son James Lemuel Beers, also joined in the business. The Beers family members sometimes worked individually, and other times in collaboration with each other and/or with other surveyors and publishers. Between 1864 and 1885, the Beers family and collaborators produced more than 125 atlases, mostly of counties, in 10 states, including Vermont, Maine, Massachusetts, Pennsylvania, Ohio, New York and Michigan, as well as city atlases, separately issued maps, and county histories. Frederick W. Beers lived in Brooklyn, where he was also employed as head of the map division in the Brooklyn Office of Public Records for 35 years. His long career continued until his retirement at the age of 90.

Full publication information: Published by J.B. Beers & Co., 36 Vesey St., New York.

Condition: Generally very good with the usual overall light toning, wear, soft creases. Folds as issued, now professionally re-backed on Japanese paper to reinforce weakness at folds and intersections. Covers very good with light wear.


Ristow, Walter W. American Maps and Mapmakers: Commercial Cartography in the Nineteenth Century. Detroit: Wayne State University Press, 1985. pp. 406-409.

Additional information


19th Century