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106 Plan of Milwaukee 1880

106 Plan of Milwaukee 1880

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Plan of Milwaukee 1880

The map you see here was produced in 1880 and was a small portion of S.A, Mitchell's New General Atlas. Mitchell was a highly regarded cartographer known for producing pieces that were robust and poignant. The new General Atlas contained various noted city plans as well as maps from other countries of the world. In total, 147 separate maps made up the New General Atlas. Of interest is the fact that a list of United States territories, census data, and post offices are featured in the atlas.

What you see here is a plan of the city of Milwaukee. This plan was not a proposal for development. It was a plat map. It shows the city of Milwaukee divided into 12 wards and laid out almost completely symmetrical. The only difference in symmetry is in regards to portions of the wards broken up by the main aquifer canal. City wards that are east of the canal are slightly askew, yet symmetrical as a whole; while all wards west of the canal maintain near-perfect symmetry. This seems to indicate that the canal was produced first, and the wards were crafted around it.

Furthermore, the map is hand colored. The hand colored portions showcase the boundaries of each ward. If you look closely, you will notice that the main aquifer canal extends quite a great length into Lake Michigan.

Plans like this were used by early city and county officials to help maintain and project things such as problem areas, future areas of growth, and dense population centers. Yet, while they served as tools for those who held political positions, they served as navigation aids for those visiting the city from other areas. If you were seeking business or economic profit, a good map of the city could give you an idea of where you might want to locate your business.

*Image note:the upper right corner has been straightened for reproduction.

All sizes are approximate. 


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