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Grafton Tyler Brown & Co.:  Map of the Comstock Lode and the Washoe Mining Claims in Storey & Lyon Counties, Nevada. Compiled from Official Surveys and other reliable data by T.D. Parkinson, C.E. . . 1873

Maps of California (California, Nevada, Arizona)

Title: Map of the Comstock Lode and the Washoe Mining Claims in Storey & Lyon Counties, Nevada. Compiled from Official Surveys and other reliable data by T.D. Parkinson, C.E. . . 1873

Map Maker: Grafton Tyler Brown & Co.

Place / Date: San Francisco / 1873

Coloring: Hand Colored

Size: 31 x 26 inches

Condition: VG

Price: SOLD

Inventory ID: 24005


Rare G.T. Brown lithographic map of the Comstock Lode, with individual mining claims outlined in hand color, superimposed over a map of Virginia City and the surrounding region.

The Comstock Lode, discovered in the late 1850s in the area that is now Virginia City, Nevada, produced prodigious quantities of silver and gold. While located in the dry, desert area of the Eastern Sierras, vast reservoirs of underground water regularly flooded the mines. Adolf Sutro conceived a long drainage tunnel that would run nearly 2,000 feet below the surface. The 16-foot tunnel was completed a few years after this map was published, about the time the Lode reached peak production. Across the top of the map is an inset titled "Longitudinal Section of the Comstock Lode," which depicts the depths of claims and the route of the Sutro Tunnel.

Scarce.  OCLC records two copies of this edition (Yale, Huntington Library) and one dated a year earlier (Stanford) and we have seen and example published in 1875.   We have also previously handled a copy of the 1873 edition of the map.

Grafton Tyler Brown is perhaps the first and unquestionably the most famous African American artist and lithographer to depict California and the Pacific Coast.  GT Brown was born in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, February 22, 1841.  Before he was 20 Brown moved to San Francisco and learned the art of lithography from C. C. Kuchel.  In 1861 and again in 1864, Brown created the two earliest bird's eye views of Virginia City. At the age of twenty-six, he established his own firm, G.T. Brown & Co.

Brown produced skillfully illustrated bank notes, labels, and maps, and stock certificates for Wells Fargo, Levi Strauss and Co., and several mining companies. His significant lithographic production, The Illustrated History of San Mateo County (1878), featured seventy-two views of the county's communities and ranches. Brown traveled throughout Oregon, Washington, Idaho, Wyoming, Nevada, and British Columbia (where he settled in 1882), producing maps and illustrations, including many landscape paintings.

In 1893, Brown secured employment as a draftsman at the St. Paul, Minnesota office of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. Sometime during his St. Paul years he married Elberta Brown. Brown's work with the Corps of Engineers ended in December 1897, after which he worked in the civil engineering department of the city of St. Paul until 1910. He died on March 3, 1918, in Nicollet County, Minnesota, bringing to a close a rich and varied career as an artist and illustrator of the American West.

Condition Description: Archivally flattened and backed, to support old folds and minor tears.

Related Categories:
Maps of California (California, Nevada, Arizona)
Maps of Southwest America (Nevada, Arizona, Colorado, Utah, New Mexico, Texas)

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