Elgin Past and Present

Three color pictorial map of Elgin, Illinois schemed up by local high school students.

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This map of Elgin, Illinois shares many characteristics with other pictorial maps of the 1930’s. A product of civic pride, they often combine historical and modern aspects while highlighting local industry, recreation, and points of interest. Outside financial support, in this example in the form of the American Association of University Women, was often required for production during the Great Depression. Colors could be limited and illustrations frequently had a “folksy” look.

Despite these common themes, it’s how these characteristics set the map apart that provide a unique personality to each one. For example, on no other pictorial map will you find the Elgin Watch factory, formerly the largest dedicated watchmaking site in the world. There’s only one Elgin High School, which contains the students whose idea prompted the creation of the map in the first place. Upon a closer look, their sense of humor is apparent in the image. Frustrated motorists, smoking horses, and monkeys on leashes all show that, sometimes, maps shouldn’t be taken too seriously.

Map Details

Publication Date: 1930

Author: Robert Brightman and Robert Gatechair

Sheet Width (in): 13.9

Sheet Height (in): 19.90

Condition: B+

Condition Description: Crinkling in the paper and some faint spots of soiling. One 1" edge tear, repaired on verso. Very good.

Out of stock