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Rare colored example of Bancroft's large 1877 Official Guide map of San Francisco, published by A.L. Bancroft & Co.

This is the enlarged separately-issued edition of Bancroft's map, nearly 4 times the size of the more common guide map, which was issued as an insert into Bancroft's San Francisco travel book. Bancroft's Official Guide map series was debuted in 1873, and ran into several edtions untl the 1890s. All of the earlier editions of the map are rare. The present 1877 edition was the only edition to ahve been issued in color.

The map shows numbered wards, streets, ferry lines, light rail lines, parks, public buildings and other places of interest. One of the most striking aspects of the map is the 'blue line' which marks the former shore of the Bay along in the southeastern part of the city - a detail which is the hallmark of the early Bancroft series. Notable aspects include Golden Gate Park (created in 1870, but in 1877 only partially landscaped, in the eastern section), the 'Spring Valley Flume' (the system that brought fresh water to the city) and the Presidio Barracks. The map also features a large inset Skeleton map, showing the routes of the Southern Pacific Rail Road in the San Francisco Bay area.

The present large-format Bancroft map embraces the entire city, covering the Presidio Reservation, Golden Gate Park, etc., and extending to the Pacific Ocean. It also extends much farther to the south, including Ranch Portrero Viejo, Rancho Rincon Las Salinas, Laguna De Merced, Lakeview and Rancho Cañada De Guadalupe Rodeo Viejo y Visitacion. Notably, while the street grid has been laid out all the way across the city, including the private developments in the southern ranchos, the built up, or urbanized, areas of the city only extended as far west as Pacific Heights. Rapid growth would ensure the nearly complete urbanization of the city by the 1906 San Francisco Earthquake.

The key at the bottom lists 380 points of interest. The 1877 large-format edition with original hand-color is quite rare, and this is the only example we have ever handled.