1887 Physical Geography
By: Levi Walter Yaggy
Date: 1887 (Published) Chicago
Dimensions: 25 x 28 inches (64 cm x 71 cm)
This collection of four maps comes from a series of plates originally published completely enclosed in a large portfolio of brown cloth over wood, which closed by means of a flap with leather straps and metal clasps. We offer one half of the portfolio cover itself with four of the original chromolithograph plates and maps.
The first plate illustrates myriad land-based features, with 48 separate pictorial renderings numbered to correspond to the descriptions which are included at the lower border of the plate. A few examples include hills, mountain, volcanic regions, canyons, rivers, streams, creeks and springs, etc. The illustrations are numbered and correspond to like-numbered descriptions included in the lower border.
The second plate features the various sorts of industries which are directly derived from underground geologic formations, including natural attractions such as caves, along with a wide variety of mining operations, i.e., gold mining, salt mining, silver and copper mining, in different parts of the world. Again, each depiction is numbered and corresponds to a description printed in the lower border of the plate.
The third plate concentrates illustrates the teeming life of the underwater world, including pictorial depictions of a wide variety of marine species. Indigenous fishermen are seen on the surface of crystal clear waters, a reminder of the relatively clean seas and oceans of yesteryear. As with the other plates, each illustration is numbered and corresponds to a description in the lower border.
The fourth plate features the physical geography of ‘Life, the Pre-Adamite Earth’, according to the title of the plate. In addition, Yaggy writes “Illustrations of the mammals, reptiles, birds, fishes, trees, plants, etc., which existed prior to the creation of man, and whose remains are found entombed in the various strata.” The strata start with the Azoic through Cenozoic eras.
This piece is a wonderful representation of Yaggy’s philosophy, which he hoped would be implemented to enhance the educational process of his day. The works were published by his own publishing house which, in his own words, ‘has set its face squarely against old educational methods and ideas.”
Condition: The frame holding the plates is worn, but the plates themselves are in B condition with a very small area of loss of paper in the image of the fourth plate.
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