Skip to content

More map cover art

More examples of maps which have interested me. All happen to be from the same era, but I’m making no further claims for coherence - they just instances where the cover art alone is worth the price of admission. The cover for an aeronautical chart of Germany: BP-aeronautical-chart-of-Germany I had never realised that the original BP was German-owned. I had long associated the company with Anglo-Persian Oil, but it seems the story doesn’t start there. Nor was I aware of the active role played by the company - which was by now British-owned - in the interwar German market. Fortunately I found a concise summary on Ian Byrne’s excellent ‘Petrol Maps’ website: Despite its name, the original company which carried the name BP in Britain was controlled by the German-owned Europäische Petroleum Union, which was the sole vendor of Shell motor spirit in the UK. Expropriated as foreign property during the First World War it was sold in 1917 to the Anglo-Persian Oil Company, in which the UK Government had bought a major stake. This did not deter Anglo-Persian/BP from entering the German market itself in the early 1920s and towards the end of the decade it progressively took control of the former Oil Exporting organisation from Romania, which sold motor spirit in Germany under the name “OLEX”. Here’s a link: http://www.ianbyrne.free-online.co.uk/bp-germ.htm The site is highly informative and worth visiting even if you are not a petrol map head. Here’s a 1936 Deutsche Lufthansa Summer Timetable (with route map), for the English-speaking market: Lufthansa-Summer-timetable The aircraft in silhouette is the Ju 52, flanking the Olympic rings. 1936 was the year of the Berlin Olympics and the year that the Ju 52, introduced as a civilian airliner, was tested in action for the first time - serving with the German Condor Legion during the Spanish Civil War. Used as a bomber (at Guernica, for example) as well as a transport, the Ju 52’s shadow would never again fall quite so benignly. The back cover advertises what remains the world’s only regular, commercial, intercontinental airship service, between Germany and South America. 'England's blame' was a 1939 supplement to the Illustrierter Beobachter (‘Illustrated Observer’), a propaganda magazine published in Munich by the Nazi party: Englands-Blame It unfolds to reveal maps of the world and the British Isles. On the cover, a pipe smoking corporal is borne along by enslaved subjects of the Empire. A bit thick, one might say, given some of the schemes then being touted around by the publisher’s compatriots, but unified Germany arrived too late on the scene to develop much in the way of a formal empire, and what she had grabbed had largely been lost in 1919; the evils of empire was a useful stick for Nazi propagandists. On an entirely different note, here’s a striking cover for the 1940 edition of Motor Runs from Bombay, published by The Times of India Press in Bombay. These include routes suitable for the monsoon season (if you’ve ever experienced an Indian monsoon you’ll appreciate why that might be handy). Motor-Runs-from-Bombay tanley Jepson also wrote on big game hunters (“well-known shikaris”) and published a travelogue on the overland route to India. On the basis of the titles alone one might be tempted to dismiss him without reading further. However, he was an enthusiastic film-maker (here is a film he wrote and produced:http://www.colonialfilm.org.uk/node/1332) and as editor of the popular Illustrated Weekly of India he seems to have encouraged young photojournalists such as T.S. Satyan and Homai Vyarawalla, India’s first woman press photographer, who died earlier this year. Note to self to find out more. And to close, a distinctly Death on the Nile era map of Cairo by Alexander Nicohosoff, published in Alexandria in the mid 1930s: New-Map-of-Cairo-and-Environs In my mind it is poking out of the linen pocket of a tourist on a Nile steamer.
Previous article What was Blaeu trying to say?
Next article Hollar's Hull

Leave a comment

Comments must be approved before appearing

* Required fields