Old color example of the first edition of Sidney & Neff's rare plan of Baltimore, published by Lloyd Van Derveer, June 1851.
Sidney & Neff's plan of Baltimore is one of the rarest and most detailed maps of Baltimore of the period. Prepared by the newly formed engineering and surveying partnership of Sidney & Neff, it provides a highly detailed look at Baltimore, showing townships, streets, railroad lines, wharves, bridges and other major points of interest. In the central part of the city, the location and layout of commerical buildings are shown. The Reference section in the top left corner provides a list of public buildings, churches, cemeteries, colleges, hospitals, hotels nad other points of interest. A smaller key shows the population of Baltimore by Ward, based upon the 1850 Census.
The copyight line idenifies R(obert) P(earsall) Smith as the copyright holder of the map. Sidney was also responsible for publication of Map of the city and county of Baltimore, Maryland : from original surveys, published in 1850.
The map is very rare. OCLC lists only the copy held by the Library of Congress (uncolored). The Maryland State Archives collection includes an edition which is listed as being published in 1852. The British Library copy of the map states that the map was published in Camden, New Jersey. The Johns Hopkins University collection includes only a facsimile reprint of the map.
James Charles Sidney was an architect, engineer, surveyor, and landscape architect born in England. In the early 1840s, he was employed by John Jay Smith, Librarian of the Library Company of Philadelphia, as a cartographer and later for Smith's son, Robert Pearsall Smith, one of the most prolific American map publishers of the mid-nineteenth century. During this time period, he produced his two most famous printed maps, Sidney's Map of Ten Miles Around -- Map of the Circuit of Ten Miles around the City of Philadelphia (1847) and Map of the Township of Germantown with the Names of the Property Holders (c.1848). Sidney's earliest known architectural works date from the mid-1840s. By 1849, he listed himself in the Philadelphia city directory as a civil engineer.
In 1850-1851 he formed a partnership with James P. W. Neff, Sidney & Neff, Engineers and Architects, at 80 Walnut Street. Also at this Sidney produced his most important publication, American Cottage and Villa Architecture (New York: D. Appleton & Co., 1850). The Sidney & Neff partnership dissolved in 1854-1855, and Sidney moved to New York City to work for Robert Pearsall Smith. He returned to Philadelphia in 1857-1858 and shortly thereafter entered into another brief partnership (1859-1860) with Andrew Adams, rural architects, engineers and surveyors.