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Map, World, Pictorial, Graf Zeppelin, Radio Show, Vintage Print, Chicago, 1929

$1,200

Edgar Miller (1899-1993) (after)
Hiker and Buzzer’s Trip ‘Round the World
Marshall Field & Company, Chicago: 1929
Color process print
Signed and dated in the matrix lower right
13.75 x 22 inches, image
17.25 x 23.5 inches, overall
$1,200

A rare pictorial world map relating to the Graf Zeppelin’s first round the world flight in 1929. The map was issued as a promotion in conjunction with the Air Castle Hour, a children’s radio show broadcast in Chicago and sponsored by the Chicago based department store Marshall Fields & Company. The map is printed on Mercator’s projection, in dark blue, tan and orange with blue oceans and white continents, and major rivers included. It is decorated throughout with small illustrations and captions within ribbon labels that are a mixture of fact and fancy — for example noting the locations where Columbus landed in 1492, and of the recently completed Panama Canal, but also showing a white whale in the ocean labeled Moby Dick. Beneath the map is the title in a banner flanked with illustrations of children, toys and animals. Promotional text across the top border exhorts listeners to “Follow the Zeppelin Around the World During Field’s Air Castle Hour — 5:30 to 6 — W.G.N.”  Along the bottom border the name “Marshall Field & Company” is repeated three times. Hiker and Buzzer, named in the title of the map, were probably characters that followed the Graf Zeppelin flight as part of the Castle Hour radio show broadcast. Images of the Graf Zeppelin appear twice on the map — over the Atlantic and over the Pacific — but traveling in the opposite direction of the actual round-the-world flight. The map was designed by a prominent Chicago artist and architect.

Product description continues below.

Description

The Graf Zeppelin was a German passenger airship. In 1929 it made its most famous flight, a round-the-world voyage, half of the cost of which was funded by the William Randolph Hearst media empire in the United States. At Hearst’s insistence, the flight started and ended in Lakehurst, New Jersey. It made stops in Germany, Tokyo and Los Angeles before returning to Lakehurst. The trip took place in five legs and concluded in a little over 21 days including stops, setting a record for the fastest circumnavigation of the world at the time.

By November 2, 1928, radio station WGN in Chicago was airing a children’s radio show called The Field’s Make-Believe Hour, sponsored by the Marshall Field & Company. The program was later referred to as The Air Castle Hour.

Edgar Miller was a versatile and accomplished artist, designer, and architect. He is considered one of the nation’s foremost industrial designers in the first half of the 20th century and was a pioneer in the use of graphic art in advertising. His two-dimensional works included illustration, mapmaking, graphic design, and advertising. He also designed and executed architectural interiors and exteriors, including furnishings, wall treatments, and stained glass windows. Called by some a “Renaissance man,” he mastered whatever medium he turned to, be it painting, sculpting, drawing, or woodcarving. His guiding principle was that the world should respect and learn from nature. Miller was ahead of his time in designing interiors for four buildings on Chicago’s near-north side in the 1920s that cleverly incorporated salvaged and recycled materials. Today, the non-profit called Edgar Miller Legacy works to preserve the art and the homes he created as part of Chicago history and to promote his ideas.

Condition: Generally very good with the usual overall light toning, wear, handling.

References:

Cahan, Richard and Michael Williams. “Edgar Miller and the Handmade Home.” Edgar Miller Legacy. https://www.edgarmiller.org/history (17 February 2020).

“Edgar Miller Renaissance Man.” Edgar Miller Legacy. 2020. http://explore.edgarmiller.org/ (17 February 2020).

Hopkinson, Doug. “A Man and His Air Castle.” The Old Radio Times. No. 56. July-August 2011. https://archive.org/stream/OldRadioTimes_2011_07_06JulAug/2011_07_06JulAug_djvu.txt / (17 February 2020).

“Illustration.” Edgar Miller Legacy. 2020. https://www.edgarmiller.org/graphic-design/u80piswd0jw9jlwrv9r11vse65yssg (17 February 2020).

“LZ 127 Graf Zeppelin.” Wikipedia.org. 10 February 2020. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/LZ_127_Graf_Zeppelin (17 February 2020).

Mortice, Zach. “The Brilliant Artist That Chicago, and the World, Nearly Forgot.” Citylab, Bloomberg L.P. 18 June 2018. https://www.citylab.com/design/2018/06/the-brilliant-artist-that-chicago-and-the-world-nearly-forgot/562649/ (17 February 2020).

Additional information

Century

20th Century