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  1. #1
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    Default Historic Maps of Detroit

    I would like to know if anyone has come across the Detroit map (below) online and if so could you provide the source. Ideally, I am wondering if it is available somewhere as a .tiff, .jpg, or .pdf download. I don't know the date but it's certainly early to mid 20th century (closer to the latter).

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  2. #2
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    You have to go to Sanborn maps. Maybe your local library will have access to the site.

    http://sanborn.umi.com/

  3. #3
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    This does not appear to be a technical/commercial map but a tourist map.

  4. #4
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    I believe it is from 1934-36, the old post office is still standing. This is the map that our own AndyLynn uses to create his unique art/craft objects. You could ask him. Or if you are hoping to lay your hands on his secrect ingrediant, ...good luck with that plan.

  5. #5
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    Nope, want to use it as a reversed outline graphic background.

  6. #6
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    I have a city streeet map book that is very similar to the map shown. I'll have to look for the publisher's name.

  7. #7
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    "This does not appear to be a technical/commercial map but a tourist map."

    I concur with the above poster that this looks just like a Sanborn. DPL has on-site only access to them. Some universities offer Sanborn electronic access to their students through their libraries as well.

    I should add that I believe that Sanborn maps are copyrighted; however, I don't know for sure.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by Baselinepunk View Post
    "This does not appear to be a technical/commercial map but a tourist map."

    I concur with the above poster that this looks just like a Sanborn. DPL has on-site only access to them. Some universities offer Sanborn electronic access to their students through their libraries as well.

    I should add that I believe that Sanborn maps are copyrighted; however, I don't know for sure.
    It's not a Sanborn map. The numbers on the map reference individual buildings, not larger zones.

  9. #9
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    "It's not a Sanborn map. The numbers on the map reference individual buildings, not larger zones."

    From the pictures provided, it's hard to tell; however, after looking a little closer at it, I think that you may be right that it looks like some sort of destination map. I used to use one similar to that in a former position I had to get around the city proper way back in the day. Perhaps contacting the city planning department? ( I know, but just don't laugh too hard ). I may have a copy of it buried deep in the home archives.

  10. #10

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    That looks similar to an early 40's map of Detroit that I have. Somewhere on the old forum I posted a few scans of the downtown district from the reverse side, which show names all the major businesses.

  11. #11
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    Lowell,

    Now that you mention it, I do have a tri-fold street map from the early 80s that is pretty much identical (although it has street directional arrows and more building detail). I remember getting it through the Detroit Visitors Bureau back then. It says "Drawn by AAA Michigan" and "Copyright by Automobile Club of Michigan."

    The front features drawings of the RenCen, Noguchi fountain, trolley, Spirit of Detroit, obelisk at Hart Plaza and the shoreline. It is called "Detroit Visitors Map." The reverse side listed points of interest (a population of 1,302,300) and an index to all the numbered buildings (1-117). Silver's Office Supply is listed at the former State Savings Bank building. Silver's opened there in 1980.

    If anyone knows how to find/view/obtain any of their (AAA) old maps digitally, please post.

  12. #12
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    Hornwrecker uploaded scans of a 1930s Detroit street map to his Picasa account. Go here to view and download. Photo # 8 has the detailed downtown map insert.

  13. #13
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    Default Found the map

    http://www.etsy.com/view_listing.php...age=6&includes[]=tags

    Found the exact map. But I feel obligated exactly what Gnome already did: This image is being used by Andy Linn, and I would caution against any commercial duplication. Which will only result in the entire city, myself included, being ticked off at you.

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by REL View Post
    http://www.etsy.com/view_listing.php...age=6&includes[]=tags

    Found the exact map. But I feel obligated exactly what Gnome already did: This image is being used by Andy Linn, and I would caution against any commercial duplication. Which will only result in the entire city, myself included, being ticked off at you.
    That's so funny it's really not funny..





    I wonder if Rand McNally ever renewed their copyright?

    http://onlinebooks.library.upenn.edu...1964JanJun.pdf
    Last edited by Stosh; April-05-10 at 10:13 PM.

  15. #15

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    Kbreenbo, I think the photos you showed are from the City Bird website. You should just go down and visit Emily and Andy at their shop, or better yet, find your own vintage map and digitize it, there must be dozens of different versions out there.

  16. #16
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    The earliest maps of Detroit were drawn in the sand of the river banks. Few if any are likely to exist, but it couldn’t hurt to go down there and look.

  17. #17
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    Here's a resource for very old maps and a search on "detroit":

    http://www.davidrumsey.com/luna/serv...&search=Search

    Interesting that the 1879-80 western boundary for the City limits was 24th St.
    NO W. Grand Blvd then.
    Wonder when the western border was annexed to Livernois?

  18. #18
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    Western boundary was 25th from 1857 to 1885, when it was extended to Livernois (Artillery).

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by MikeM View Post
    Western boundary was 25th from 1857 to 1885, when it was extended to Livernois (Artillery).
    Many thanks MikeM.

    Any idea when the eastern boundary was extended beyond Van Dyke?
    Was there an earlier eastern boundary?

    How about some early Northern Boundaries?
    There must have been something earlier than Eight Mile (Baseline) Rd?

    TIA

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by MikeM View Post
    Western boundary was 25th from 1857 to 1885, when it was extended to Livernois (Artillery).
    Detroit also annex what's left of Springwells TWP in 1913, Del-Rey in after 1910 and the piece of Lonyo to Wyoming Streets in 1917.

    Fordson Village and parts of Dearborn TWP. was annexed to Dearbornville in after 1920 and thus the City of Dearborn was born. It was meant to keep Detroit from annexing the Aviation Sub-Division.

    Henry Ford threaten to have all of Dearborn annexed to Detroit if he doesn't have his Rouge Plant built near the Rouge River Industrial Complex. So the City of Dearborn let Ford built his plant.

  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by wilderness View Post
    Many thanks MikeM.

    Any idea when the eastern boundary was extended beyond Van Dyke?
    Was there an earlier eastern boundary?

    How about some early Northern Boundaries?
    There must have been something earlier than Eight Mile (Baseline) Rd?

    TIA
    The eastern boundry from Downtown Detroit in 1830s extended from Joseph Compau St. to the corner of E. Warren Ave. By 1850s up to Mt Eilliot St. to E. Warren Ave. By 1960s up to E. Grand Blvd. by 1880s up to Harper St. by 1920 Detroit annex what's lefy of Grosse Pointe TWP. The Citizens of Grosse Pointe rushed to incorporate into a village and later broke up into 5 suburbs of Grosse Pointe Park, Grosse Pointe, Grosse Pointe Farms, Grosse Pointe Woods and Grosse Pointe Shores. Detroit annexed parts of Gratiot TWP to for the development of Mohican Regent, Greensbriar, Regent Park and Van Stuben in 1928. What's left of the Township became Harper Woods.

    Detroit annexed what's left of Hamtramck TWP. ( up to the northern boundries of E. 8 Mile Rd.) after 1910, but the people of the Village of Hamtramck ( from Carpenter Rd. to Clay St. from Dequindre Rd. to few neighborhoods blocks east of Conant) rushed to vote for their area to become the City of Hamtramck.

    The northern boundries of Hamtramck TWPe was a just plan farming community in square acre plots until Mr. Conant came along the proposed a sub-division for African Americans after Detroit annexed Hamtramck TWP.

  22. #22
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  23. #23
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    Thanks MikeM for a fascinating map. But for us old eastsiders there's a pretty glaring error there. The 1885 eastern border is given on the map as "Beaubien," but with the line being east of Mt. Elliott that clearly is wrong. From the location and from what I know of the history of the area I'd guess that they meant Baldwin.

  24. #24
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    Yes, definitely Baldwin, not Beaubien.

  25. #25
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    This looks like it might be a Hearne Bros. map. The company (letterpress and lithographic cartography) was located in the old Trappers Alley/Traugott Schmidt Building in Greektown. The company was on its last legs - about two employees were keeping the place running - when I first started working in the building for a design and display company in 1979. (Mario's Mannequins was in the same building upstairs back then.) Hearne Bros. made city directories, large maps and pull-down charts that used to be used in school classrooms.

    I have a section of a downtown Detroit street map I "block printed" from one of their discarded letterpress dies. The type style looks similar to the image posted at the start of this message. Couldn't find much on Google related to Hearn Bros. maybe others have ideas/info about the company.

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