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Map, World, Pictorial, United in Peace, Ernest Dudley Chase, Vintage Print, c. 1945 (Sold)

Ernest Dudley Chase (1878-1966) (after)
Mercator Map of the World United: A Pictorial History of Transport and Communications and Paths to Permanent Peace
Oliver K. Whiting, London and Ernest Dudley Chase, Winchester, Massachusetts: c. 1945
Color photo-process print
15 x 36 inches, overall

This item is sold. It has been placed here in our online archives as a service for researchers and collectors.

A pictorial map with a hopeful message of the world united in peace, created as World War II was drawing to a close. It bears an optimistic and humanistic message of social progress through technological advancement. Historic milestones in transportation and communications history are illustrated throughout. The legend surrounding the cartouche includes symbols for “organizations already at work on an international basis” and modes of travel and communication. These include religion; travel by land, sea and air; international mail, telephone, and telegraph; radio; The Red Cross; health organizations; drug control; standards of measurements; and “the great international businesses.” Messages of peace abound, including a drawing, center top, of flags of different nations with a rainbow and the slogan “Bound by a code of international friendship, law and order, united we stand — divided we fall.” In addition to the more historically oriented illustrations are allegorical drawings such as one of several men on a globe-form sailboat emblazoned “World Unity,” with the caption “We are all in the same boat.” The artist also illustrates ideas for new technologies such as a missile captioned “Rocket Mail of the future.” The map is executed on Mercator’s projection with a decorative cartouche, the border with ornate corners decorated with cornucopias, one in the traditional manner overflowing with fruit and vegetables, the other overflowing with machine parts.

Product description continues below.


This map is undated, but is mentioned in the biographical pamphlet A Meticulous Maker of Maps. It can be inferred from the text that when the pamphlet was written, the Second World War was not yet over but clearly winding down, a period that began in late 1944 until Germany surrendered in the spring of 1945. The text describes this map:

The latest Chase pictorial map — “The World United,” a pictorial history of transport and communications and paths to permanent peace–is likely to have a tremendous vogue as after-the-war developments take place. This map, as it indicates, is predicated on a world united — a smaller world than we have ever known, because distances have been annihilated by air travel. It demonstrates that we must, of necessity, live closer together because we are now, geographically, closer together. And in this pictorial presentation of this tremendous change in our daily lives and our future living, all thinking people will find much to study and evaluate. (p. 10)

A 1955 edition of this map, printed in different colors and with various modifications, including to the cartouche, is in the Harvard Map Collection (see References below).

Ernest Dudley Chase was one of the most prolific and renowned pictorial map artists of the 20th century, producing about 50 maps published from the 1930s to the 1960s. Chase’s maps cover a broad range of geographical locations and varied topics including historical and current events, architecture, and technology. They typically incorporate large numbers of minutely rendered illustrations with explanatory captions that blend a scholarly approach with wit, patriotism, and optimism. As works of graphic art they are finely drawn and composed with a decorative flair. The biographical pamphlet A Meticulous Maker of Maps describes Chase’s “passion for perfection,” executing the detailed pictures under a magnifying glass “dot by dot, with tiny pens.”

Chase was born in Lowell, Massachusetts and began his career as a graphic artist. He established his own greeting card company, which he sold to Rust Craft Publishers in 1920. He subsequently served in several managerial positions there until his retirement in 1958. He authored The Romance of Greeting Cards, the first complete history of the medium, published in 1926, with a revised edition in 1956. An avid traveler, he took numerous trips in the U.S. and abroad between 1922 to 1937. Chase began drawing maps at age 49, which he self-published from his home in Winchester, Massachusetts, principally in the 1930s and 1940s. Various companies also published his maps in the 1950s and 1960s, and his third wife, Clara Katrina Holland Chase, produced a popular map of Cape Cod, published by Trina Publishing or the Atlantic Card Company.

A large number of Chase’s maps depict his native New England, especially locales in Massachusetts. He made two different maps of the United States, one of them entitled America, The Wonderland. He also produced continental maps of North America, South America, and Europe, and a few of European countries. Maps such as World Wonders deal with past history, showing important sites of human civilization worldwide. Others are topical, such as patriotic maps published during World War II showing the European and Pacific theaters of war. The World United, published near the end of the war, and World Freedom, published after the war, express hope for a peaceful future. Some of his later maps of Alaska and Hawaii were issued shortly after they became states. He also produced a whimsical map of an imaginary Loveland, formed as a pink heart with romantic illustrations and captions, and a satirical map The United States as Viewed by California (Very Unofficial), exaggerating the proportions of the United States from the perspective of a Californian.

Chase donated many examples of his maps to the Harvard University Map Collection, Pusey Library, which featured them in the exhibition “The Pictorial Maps of Ernest Dudley Chase” from February to April 2003. According to the curators of the exhibit, Chase “designed pictorial maps ranging in scale from his own hometown to global themes of navigation, exploration, communication, and world peace. He could be alternately whimsical, didactic, and subtly allusive–often on the same map.” In 2009, the State Library of Massachusetts presented the exhibition “Ernest Dudley Chase: A Worldview in Maps,” showcasing his wide variety of works.


Cobb, David. “Re: Ernest Dudley Chase and Clara K. Chase.” E-mail correspondence to George Glazer Gallery dated 29 August 2005.

“Ernest Dudley Chase.” National Cyclopedia of American Biography. James T. White & Co., after 1966.

“Ernest Dudley Chase: A Worldview in Maps: Exhibit now on view at the State Library.” 22 May 2009. State Library of Massachusetts Blog. (22 July 2009).

“Harvard Map Collection Digital Maps.” Harvard College Library. (23 July 2009).

“Map of the Month.” September 2008. Boston Map Society. (22 July 2009).

“The Boston Map Society’s Upcoming Events.” Harvard Map Collection. 2002. (3 February 2003).

“The United States of America.” Harvard University Library Map Collection. and (28 July 2009).

Thrift, Tim. A Meticulous Maker of Maps. Boston: Ernest Dudley Chase, c. 1945. 12 pp.

Additional information


20th Century