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Rare early large format map of Arizona Territory, published by George Cram in Chicago.

Cram's map of Arizona Territory is one of the earliest separately published maps of Arizona, having been issued separately beginning in 1875 and in the rare pre-1880 editions of Cram's atlas. The first edition of the map included a decorative border, but is otherwise very similar to this map. The map shows early township surveys, roads, proposed Texas Pacific Railroad Route, mountains, rivers, forts, Indian Reservations and other details.

What is perhaps most interesting about the map is that it actually appears to show less information than the 1875 edition of the map. In all probability, because the proposed railroads running across Arizona Territory had not yet come to fruition, Cram eliminated the two bold proposed lines that cross the Territory and the third line entering from the west. Ony a reference to the proposed Texas and Pacific route remains. The following link shows our archive example of the 1875 edition: /gallery/detail/14829

A fine example of this rare early map of Arizona Territory.

George F. Cram Biography

George F. Cram (1842-1928), or George Franklin Cram, was an American mapmaker and businessman. During the Civil War, Cram served under General William Tecumseh Sherman and participated in his March to the Sea. His letters of that time are now important sources for historians of the Civil War. In 1867, Cram and his uncle, Rufus Blanchard, began the company known by their names in Evanston, Illinois.

Two years later, Cram became sole proprietor and the company was henceforth known as George F. Cram Co. Specializing in atlases, Cram was one of the first American companies to publish a world atlas. One of their most famous products was the Unrivaled Atlas of the World, in print from the 1880s to the 1950s.

Cram died in 1928, seven years after he had merged the business with that of a customer, E.A. Peterson. The new company still bore Cram’s name. Four years later, the Cram Company began to make globes, a branch of the business that would continue until 2012, when the company ceased to operate. For the final several decades of the company’s existence it was controlled by the Douthit family, who sold it just before the company was shuttered.