There’s a little antique store in our neighborhood called Blackbird House Antiques & Stuff (they don’t have a website). It’s located in a cute little stone house on ‘the Ridge’. They have a nice collection of items and they host flea markets during the summer in their parking lot. Last summer we stopped by during one of the flea markets. There was a gentleman selling a few vintage school wall maps. I immediately fell in love with the Cram’s Superior Map of Pennsylvania.
This vintage school wall map is still its spring roller so Mr. MM found two curtain rod hooks that he attached to the living room wall and we hung the map (the spring roller still functions). It’s approximately 59″ wide by 51″ high. The perfect proportion for our living room above our couch. The colors demarcating the counties are of a palette that fits perfectly within our living room. We were looking for a large piece of art for above the couch … we definitely found it with this map!
We had to add some foam core to the back attached by butterfly clips as we didn’t want to glue anything to the back. This map’s backing is heavy linen.
The next step was to date this 1534 edition of Cram’s Superior Map of Pennsylvania. The map lists the population of Pennsylvania at 10,498,012 people. This was the population counted during the 1950 census. Another clue is that Mauch Chunk is still a town in Carbon County.
Following Jim Thorpe’s (Olympic medalist / renowned athlete) death in 1953, his widow made a deal with civic leaders to change Mauch Chunk’s name. The town thought this would help draw business to the town. Weird.
After many ‘Google’ search attempts, I finally found a catalog entry from the January – June 1954 ‘Maps and Atlases’ Catalog of Copyright Entries (Volume 8, Part 6, Number 1):
This Cram’s Superior Map of Pennsylvania was copyrighted in March 1954!
Vintage school wall maps are usually too pricey for me at flea markets. This one sold for $225 at Three Potato Four. Yes, it’s older than ours but it’s pretty worn whereas ours is in great shape. Around $200 is pretty typical for these types of maps.
How much did I pay? $10! What would Mike say?