BANCROFT’S 1873 STREET MAP OF SAN FRANCISCO
BANCROFT, Albert Little. Bancroft’s Official Guide Map of San Francisco. San Francisco: A.L. Bancroft & Company, 1873. 12mo, original lithographic map (20-1/2 by 17-1/2 inches unfolded), original brown cloth wallet, titled in gilt. $1200.
Original detailed pocket street map of San Francisco, showing the city’s relationship to the surrounding counties— representative of Bancroft’s “principal output in the late 1870s.”
San Francisco was the principal center for cartographic publishing in the West. At the early age of 18, Albert Little Bancroft was engaged in the book-publishing business with his famous brother, western historian and bibliophile Hubert Howe Bancroft. For many years they operated the largest book-store and publishing concern on the Pacific Coast (History of Contra Costa County). Upon Hubert’s retirement in 1869 (in order to throw his energies into his vast library of western Americana), Albert assumed leadership under the firm name of A.L. Bancroft & Company, “booksellers, stationers, importers and publishers, printers, lithographers, engravers, binders [and] blank book makers.” The business expanded and prospered under Albert’s direction until a fire destroyed the publishing house in 1886. A.L. Bancroft & Company published maps of San Francisco as early as the 1850s. “Among these were street maps of San Francisco, maps of the bay counties, and bird’s-eye views… [these being] A.L. Bancroft’s principal output in the late 1870s” (Ristow, 461-63; Reps, 29-30). This wonderful 1873 pocket street map of San Francisco was compiled from official maps in the Surveyor’s Office and includes an inset of the entire bay area.
A fine copy.