Sign In

Forgot Password Create Account

Early 20th Century separately issued copy of Bancroft, Thayer & Brooks map of Los Angeles, 5he first printed map of the City of Los Angeles, based upon the two most important early manuscript surveys of the City of Los Angeles (Ord and Hancock & Hansen).

Bancroft & Thayer's map of Los Angeles is an amalgam of the famous 1849 Ord Survey (according to Robinson, the first map of Los Angeles of any type) and the Hancock & Hansen manuscript survey maps of 1853 and 1859. Rumsey notes that the map is the first appearance of the manuscript Ord Survey as a printed map and is therefore of considerable importance.

Bancroft and Thayer were real estate brokers active in the 1870's. The map can be dated to some time prior to June 1, 1875, when the earliest advertisements in local newspapers began advertising the availability of the map.

The Ord Survey is displayed in the center of the map, with the details of the Hancock and Hansen surveys surrounding the Ord material. The Ord Survey shows the original pueblo buildings, with farms around them, a small group of lots, water courses and hills. Rumsey notes that "In contrast, the later Hancock and Hansen Surveys divide the lands outside the original town center into much larger rectangular lots of equal size, imposing a grid pattern on the earlier meandering lots that is both visually striking and a portent of the phenomenal growth of settlement to come."

The original map is very rare. While Robinson noted that the map appeared in Wall Map form and could be found on the walls of a number of local real estate offices in the 1870s and 1880s, we were only able to locate a few examples in California institutional collections and no examples in the major institutional collections (Library of Congress, NYPL, Newberry, Yale, etc.). The map was reproduced by Reps in the 1970s. Of the located examples, all are in wall map format, making this pocket map example unique. Rumsey notes having aquired the covers for the map separately from his wall map version (which is trimmed well into the image).

The present map was prepared by the Southern Pacific Railway and appears to be dated Febrary 20, 1912. The original is virtually unobtainable.

Condition Description
Waxed linen tracing map. Minor soiling and a few marginal tears, just affecting the printed image.
Robinson, Maps of Los Angeles 33 (illustrated) and P. 18; Vogdes p. 219.