Map Detail
(description follows image)
Property atlas of Newport, Rhode Island
Author:Sanborn Map Company
Published:New York, 1921
Description:Large folio. Title, index, key map and 32 double-sheet plat maps backed with linen, all in full original hand color. Bound in cloth with gilt red morocco label on front board and matching corners.
Condition:Contents with expected minor toning and soiling but very good or better. Ca. 1/3 of the leather page tabs damaged. Binding bumped, with morocco label and corners damaged.
Price:Sold    Inventory:    BRM1539
An extraordinarily detailed depiction of this historic Rhode Island city.

This wonderful atlas consists of a key map and 32 double-sheet plats, together depicting every architectural feature in Newport, on Conanicut Island, and in nearby towns. Each plat is 3 feet by 2 feet, is executed at a scale of 100 feet to the inch, and identifies property owners, structures, and the street plan of the area depicted, as well as water and sewer lines, fire alarm boxes, and hydrants. The huge scale enables each individual building to be shown in plan (footprint) view, with color coding to indicate its mode of construction. Among the highlights are the detailed depictions of the complex of wharves along Newport Harbor and the huge “cottages” such as the Vanderbilt’s “Breakers” facing the famed Cliff Walk.

D. A. Sanborn published his first fire insurance maps in his 1867 Insurance Map of Boston. According to Ristow, over the next century the Sanborn Map Company went on to publish fire insurance maps of more than 12,000 American cities incorporating no fewer than seven hundred thousand individual map sheets. The company is still active today, though local government, surveyors and others have long since replaced the insurance industry as its customer base, and unwieldy printed atlases are now but a small part of its product line.

The firm of Sanborn published its first atlas of Newport in 1884, with revised editions issued at least as late as 1953.

Ristow, Sanborn Insurance Maps in the Library of Congress.