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124 The World in Hemispheres 1860

124 The World in Hemispheres 1860

  • 3650


This map showcases the world as it was known in the 1860's. S. Augustus Mitchell Jr.'s 1864 hand colored map of the World in Hemispheres with other Projections gives us a glimpse into what was known about the world at the time. What is perhaps the most surprising is the fact that so much of the world was known an mapped accordingly.

The map is divided into three sections. The top portion showcases the major rivers of the world. They are grouped according to length, with the longest rivers drawn at the top of the map. This was an effort to show the comparative size of each river as it relates to other rivers across the globe.

The central portion of the map shows the world divided into two hemispheres. A couple of items are of noteworthy interest here. The United States did not purchase Alaska until 1867 and hence the Russian Territory designation on the map. Another interesting note is the coastline of Antarctica. Little was known about the continent at the time due to the fact that it was so frigid and cold. Many people lost their lives just trying to reach the continent itself. As a result, only small sections of the coastline are noted on the map.

The bottom section of the map contains three maps. One shows the world from the standpoint of polar projection, the next is a land mass and water rendering, and the final one is of the North Polar Region.


The hand coloring adds nice distinction to continental boundaries, and the floral border makes for a nice embellishment.

Overall, this is a great cartographic representation of what was known about the world in the 1860s. Even though map making had made a bit of progress, it should be noted that most major continents are still a little misshapen and disproportionate to a degree. It would not be until the early 1900s that the continents would take their final correct shape as cartography and exploration reached new heights.


All sizes are approximate.


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