Issued by The Arbuckle Coffee Company, New York, 1889 and lithographed by Donaldson Brothers. The atlas measures 7 inches high by 11.25 inches wide, with 14 pages including the front and back covers
A nice example of this unusual atlas designed to advertise Arbuckle's Coffee. The atlas is printed on loose pages held together with original twisted string tie. The oblong 4to atlas has front and back covers, each with one map, plus 12 sheets, each containing four beautiful chromolithographic maps – for a total of fifty maps. The front pictorial wrapper has a map of Palestine plus the Western Hemisphere with numerous cherubs around the bottom. The rear wrapper has a map of Brazil, a view of the Arbuckle’s factory, and two finely dressed women enjoying Arbuckle's coffee. All of the maps have vignettes describing the beauty or commerce of the region.
In the mid-1880's, Arbuckle Bros. Coffee Company began to include advertising cards, referred to as "trade cards", in packages of their coffee. Trade cards were a common device used by businesses of the time to tout the virtues of their products. Arbuckle Co. carried the concept a step further and created a series of very desirable images. They then encouraged their customers to collect the entire series of cards and to trade cards with their neighbors in order to complete their sets. Thus, "trade" cards began to evolve into "trading" cards. Arbuckle issued a great variety of cards including birds, animals, cooking, satire, sports and maps. The map series of 1889 (U.S. States and Nations of the World), were extremely popular.
The atlases were a premium item, mostly for children (send in 15 premium seals from sacks of Arbuckle coffee plus a 2 cent stamp, and you would receive one of the atlases) so many of the few extant atlases are in pretty rough shape. This is a particularly nice complete example, very fresh and colorful, internally clean and with only minor wear to the outside, including a chip in the upper left corner of the front cover.