Early edition of this rare blue-back chart of the region fromQueen Charlotte's Island, Vancouver Island, Pitt Island and Banks Island in the north to just south of Cape Mendocino, published by James Imray in 1853.
Imray's chart includes large insets of the mouth of Fuca Strait, Columbia River, Bece and Pedder Bays, Port San Juan, Nootka Sound, Esquimalt Harbour, and Victoria Harbor and profile views of Fuca Straits, Coumbia River, Nookta Sound, Cape Gregory, Cape Greenville, Cape Oxford, Trinidad Harbor, and Cape Mendocino.
Imray's chart is one of the most detailed maps of the region and includes sailing directions, place names, soundings, topographical details in the coastal regions and other important navigational details. The first edition was published in 1851.
The chart is quite rare, with only 1 copy of the revised1864 edition of this chart having appeared at auction or in a dealer catalog in the past 30 years. OCLC locates 1 example of the1851 edition (Bancroft), 2 examples of the 1853 edition (Mystic Seaport and Washington State University) and 1 example of the 1865 edition (Bancroft).
James Imray was a publisher specialized in nautical charts. He started one of the most successful blue-back chart-selling companies of the nineteenth century; it is still in business today. Imray’s father was a dyer and he was born in Spitalfields, London, an area known for its garment industry. James did not want to enter the garment trade, however, and instead apprenticed to Stationer William Lukyn in 1818. Imray began his business as a book publisher and seller; however, he shared premises with Robert Blachford, a chartseller. Imray entered into business with Robert’s successor, Michael. He turned the business into a success and bought Blachford out in 1846, publishing under the imprint of James Imray. In 1854, son James Frederick joined as a partner and the imprint changed to Imray & Son. They thrived thanks to targeted marketing and excellent compilation charts that focused on trade routes. The busines entered in a long decline after the death of James Sr. in 1870. In 1899, Imray & Son amalgamated with Norie & Wilson. This conglomerate was bought by the Laurie firm in 1904 and today the business trades as Imray, Laurie, Norie & Wilson.