The World Makes an Automobile

A global perspective on the manufacture of an automobile.

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Created on behalf of the Automobile Manufacturer’s Association, this map of the world shows the myriad of resources required to create a modern vehicle during the early 1960s. Iron, steel, paint, textiles, rubber, and petroleum, among other commodities, are sourced from numerous locations around the globe.

Major components are described in detail in the upper and lower borders, while 63 separate symbols on the map, ranging from Abrasives to Zirconium, are labeled on the left-hand side. A helpful diagram in the lower right visualizes the use of many of these elements are used in the construction of an automobile.

While seemingly objective, it’s easy to envision the circumstances where this map could be a powerful tool – luring foreign investment, government lobbying efforts, and building corporate partnerships, to name a few. The map was created by the General Drafting Company in Convent Station, New Jersey, and published in 1961.

This particular example is accompanied by a bulletin board kit and its original envelope, also issued by the Automobile Manufacturer’s Association of Detroit. Its contents include several paper photographs with explanatory captions highlighting the benefits of the automobile. With an envelope addressed to the Allen Community Consolidated School in La Moille, Illinois. The village’s population was between 500 and 600 at the time, showing the great lengths taken to encourage vehicle ownership in rural communities during the mid-20th century.

Map Details

Publication Date: 1961

Author: General Drafting Company

Sheet Width (in): 37.00

Sheet Height (in): 21.50

Condition: A-

Condition Description: Creased and faintly worn along former fold lines and at the fold intersections. A bit of wrinkling around the outer edges of the sheet and pinholes in each corner. Very good condition and includes an accompanying bulletin board kit, also in very good condition.

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