The map is surrounded by a border design incorporating ornamental floral designs and numerous small illustrations of period scenes such as “Sleighing on Fifth Avenue,” “Balloon Ascensions in Central Park,” “Bathing in Coney Island,” “Demonstrations of the Talking Machine,” “Observatory Tower at 42nd Street,” a tandem bicycle and portraits of New Yorkers Boss Tweed and the prizefighter John L. Sullivan. The cartouche is drawn in a period style and flanked by illustrations of two men standing at a bar, one with a glass of wine and one with a mug of beer. A small outer margin to the map is in thick black line, as issued.
The Prohibition Era began with the ratification of the 18th Amendment to the Constitution in 1919, with the law taking effect in 1920. The unintended consequence of the law was to create a large underground economy in illegal alcohol with a related expansion of organized crime and corruption. In 1932, the same year this map was copyrighted, the Democratic Party made the repeal of prohibition part of their party’s platform, a position supported by presidential candidate Franklin D. Roosevelt. With the ratification of the 21st Amendment on December 5, 1933, which repealed the 18th, Prohibition ended.
A smaller version of the map with a different border consisting of recipes for alcoholic cocktails was published by the same company and can be viewed on our web site. Though bearing the same copyright, it might have been a later version, produced once Prohibition had ended.
E.L. Harper made at least two New York City pictorial maps in the 1930s, A Map of Manhattan Depicting Some Bright Spots in that Dark Era before the Saloon left the Corner and Moved into the Home (1932) and A Map of Greenwich Village Showing some of its Historical, Artistic, Literary, Educational, and Religious Places of Interest (1934).
Colonial Sales Corp. was a New York City publisher of prints, books and jigsaw puzzles, active in the 1930s.
Condition: Generally very good with the usual light toning, wear, handling, soft creases. Folds as issued, now professionally flattened as backed on Japanese tissue. Black border slightly irregularly trimmed.