Map of Peru and Bolivia, 1850, Mitchell and Cowperthwait
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Map of Peru and Bolivia, 1850, Mitchell and Cowperthwait

Regular price $130.00
Map of Peru and Bolivia, 1850, Mitchell and Cowperthwait

In the 1850s, the Peruvian guano industry was at its peak. Guano was used as a fertilizer at the time, and was a popular export. As a result of their imperialist reach across the Americas, British companies in the area controlled the prices of guano, resulting in extremely high prices for the product. In the early 1850s, a British officer recalled seeing guano loaded onto 100 ships from 11 different nations during his visit to the Chincha Islands. In addition hundreds of other ships were waiting for their turn for up to eight ships. In the year of 1850, there was over 102,421 tons of guano sent to England from the Chincha Islands alone. Together with the 1,429 tons of guano sent to France, 14,250 tons sent to the United States, and 252 tons sent to China, there was a total of 118,352 tons of guano exported from the Chincha Islands in the year 1850. 

Samuel Augustus Mitchell (1792-1868) turned his attention to mapmaking in the 1830s, due to his dissatisfaction with available school maps. He developed a map publishing business that would make him and later his son the most prominent American map publishers of the nineteenth century. By collaborating with prominent mapmakers and engravers of the day, such as James H. Young and Henry S. Tanner, Mitchell ensured that the maps he published were of the highest quality. During the 1850s, he partnered with Thomas, Cowperthwait, & Company to publish his A New Universal Atlas and his General Atlas. In 1860, his son Samuel Augustus, Jr, joined the company and he ensured that the Mitchell name remained an important one well into the 1880s.

Thomas, Cowperthwait, and Company was founded sometime in the early 1800s by Joseph Thomas and Hulings Cowperthwait. It operated under this name until 1853. The following year the company name changed to Cowperthwait, Desilver, and Butler. However, this configuration only lasted for about a year, before it became H. Cowperthwait & Company in 1856. After 1860, it appears the company experienced several more alterations, before ceasing publication at the end of the century.
- Ashe Nicholson 

Plate size: 14.5" x 11.5"

Condition: Some foxing, but otherwise in fine antiquarian condition

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