Over on Strange Maps, which like this here site is still a going concern, Frank Jacobs has a nice writeup of the history of perception maps. These are maps that provide a skewed or exaggerated view, usually of the United States, that favours their preferred part of it. The best known is Saul Steinberg’s 1976 New Yorker cover (“View of the World from 9th Avenue”) but there were antecedents. Frank covers the examples I mentioned in these previous entries: McCutcheon’s View; McCutcheon’s 1908 Cartoon. Plus a few others.
McCutcheon’s 1908 Cartoon
New York Times graphics editor Tim Wallace stumbled across a 1908 Chicago Tribune cartoon by John T. McCutcheon that’s older than other examples of “perception-based” maps he was aware of.
Perception-based map genre is at least 30 years older than I thought it was. Finance Committee 1908 @chicagotribune pic.twitter.com/bDnAjei8r6
— Tim Wallace (@wallacetim) March 16, 2016
(Though my previous entry contained a link to a 1922 McCutcheon cartoon, which only moves the clock back only 14 years.)
Three years ago, the Newberry Library posted a note about a 1922 cartoon from the Chicago Tribune: “The New Yorker’s Idea of the Map of the United States” by John T. McCutcheon bears a strong resemblance to Saul Steinberg’s famous 29 March 1976 New Yorker cover, whose inspiration is often traced to Daniel K. Wallingford’s A New Yorker’s Idea of the United States (1937). See the gallery below.
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