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These Panoramic Maps of 19th Century America Are Glorious

 Back in the late 19th and early 20th centuries, illustrated panoramic maps were quite popular in America. These maps were commonly known as "balloon maps” then, as they were mostly drawn by artists in hot air balloons. However, they were also called bird’s eye views, aero views, and even perspective maps.
Many artists couldn’t get on hot air balloons to draw these maps. Instead, they chose some high vantage points where they could get equally great views of the cities and towns they wanted to illustrate. These panoramic maps, though not generally drawn to scale, provided people with a good view of their local area and were often posted in the common areas of cities to help people get around.
Initially, these illustrated maps were quite simple and included the basic details, but with time, more specifics, like various street patterns, individual buildings, and major landscape features were also added. As their popularity grew, these maps even came in handy to help tourists explore American cities. By the early 20th century, these illustrated panoramic maps were seen as symbols of pride for their cities by their citizens.
The Library of Congress has an extensive collection of these vintage illustrated panoramic maps that are available for viewing. Here we present some of the best-illustrated maps from 19th century America that provide a beautiful look of the country from back in the day.

1. Alton and Alton Bay, New Hampshire, 1888

 
Illustrated panoramic maps Alton and Alton Bay, New Hampshire, 1888
Image credit: Library of Congress

2. 20th century Boston

Illustrated panoramic maps 20th century Boston
Image credit: Library of Congress

3. The city of Chester, Pennsylvania, 1885

Illustrated panoramic maps The city of Chester, Pennsylvania, 1885
Image credit: Library of Congress

4. Grafton, West Virginia, 1898

Illustrated panoramic maps Grafton, West Virginia, 1898
Image credit: Library of Congress

5. Houston, Texas, 1891

Illustrated panoramic maps Houston, Texas, 1891
Image credit: Library of Congress

6. Los Angeles, California,1894

Illustrated panoramic maps Los Angeles, California,1894
Image credit: Library of Congress

7. Louisville, Kentucky, 1876

Illustrated panoramic maps Louisville, Kentucky, 1876
Image credit: Library of Congress

8. Nashville, Tennessee, 1897

Illustrated panoramic maps Nashville, Tennessee, 1897
Image credit: Library of Congress

9. New York, 1873

Illustrated panoramic maps New York, 1873

Image credit: Library of Congress

10. New York and Brooklyn, New York, 1875

Illustrated panoramic maps New York and Brooklyn, New York, 1875

Image credit: Library of Congress

11. Bird's-eye view of New York, 1874

Illustrated panoramic maps Bird's-eye view of New York , 1874

Image credit: Library of Congress

12. Oakland, California, 1900

Illustrated panoramic maps Oakland, California, 1900

Image credit: Library of Congress

13. Ogden, Utah, 1889

Illustrated panoramic maps Ogden, Utah, 1889
Image credit: Library of Congress

14. Raleigh, North Carolina, 1872

Illustrated panoramic maps Raleigh, North Carolina, 1872
Image credit: Library of Congress

15. Reno, Nevada, 1907

Illustrated panoramic maps Reno, Nevada, 1907

Image credit: Library of Congress

16. St. Louis, Missouri, 1904

Illustrated panoramic maps St. Louis, Missouri, 1904

Image credit: Library of Congress

17. Tallahassee, Florida, 1885

Illustrated panoramic maps Tallahassee, Florida, 1885

Image credit: Library of Congress

18. Toledo, Ohio, 1876

Illustrated panoramic maps Toledo, Ohio, 1876

Image credit: Library of Congress

19. Washington, D.C., 1852

Illustrated panoramic maps  Washington, D.C., 1852

Image credit: Library of Congress

20. Washington D.C. Potomac River, 1880

Illustrated panoramic maps Washington D.C. Potomac River, 1880

Image credit: Library of Congress
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