Nell’s Topographical Map of the State of Colorado


Detailed overview of Colorado from the early 20th century.

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This marvelous topographic map of Colorado was designed by Louis Nell and published in Denver by the Kendrick Book & Stationery Company in 1904. Nell was a civil engineer who created several fine maps of Colorado and Nevada in the late 19th and early 20th centuries.

A legend in the upper border outlines the various colors and symbols used within the delicately engraved image. The publisher’s label on the front endpaper, opposite a 12-page index of towns and their respective populations, summarizes the production nicely in great contemporary language.

“This Map of Colorado has been compiled from all available surveys in existence, it is consequently the most complete and accurate one ever published, and shows all the information useful to settlers, miners and travelers, viz: The New Mining Camps, the latest Land Office Surveys, all the modes of transportation, as railroads, roads, and practicable mountain trails, the United States Timber Reserves, the principal irrigation canals in south-eastern Colorado and the more important ranches in those parts where villages are scarce.

This is the only map published showing the wagon roads, mountain trails and passes as well as the railroads, and may be safely taken as a guide to travelers, wheelmen, hunters, and prospectors. The map exhibits over 2,000 altitudes of mountains, passes, railroad stations and other towns in feet above sea level, and the approximate height of any location can be found by interpolation between the nearest enclosing contour lines representing vertical intervals of 1,000 feet.”

Source: Tooley’s Dictionary of Mapmakers

Map Details

Publication Date: 1904

Author: Louis Nell

Sheet Width (in): 41.5

Sheet Height (in): 31.75

Condition: A

Condition Description: Pocket map that folds into 45 panels and remains affixed to original brown cloth gilt boards. A few small spots of separation along fold lines and very faint scattered spotting confined to the margins. Near fine overall.


1 in stock