c 1857 Map of North America - Morse and Gaston


“N. AMERICA” New York: Charles W. Morse and Samuel N. Gaston, 1857.  Original wax-engraved map, with original hand color from The Diamond Atlas. (Image: 6 x 5”) 

This map of North America shows countries in contrasting colors.  The western region of the United States consists of a few large Territories (prior to Idaho, Montana, Wyoming, Nevada, Colorado and Arizona), and the new State of California (admitted 1850).

Alaska is still “Russian America” (purchased in 1867).

The wax-engraving method was developed by Sidney E. Morse (brother of Samuel F. B. Morse - inventor of the telegraph).  Wax engraving was “a major techno-logical breakthrough that greatly influenced American commercial map and atlas production in the U.S.” (Schwartz: Mapping of America, p. 265). This map is an early example of the process.

Presented in an archival 12 x 11'' mat

  • Inventory# M-13157