Fascinating Pictorial Map of Texas, drawn by Dallas illustrator Frank Oliver for the Texoak Flooring Company of Crockett, Texas, "Honest-to-goodness Texans who manufacture."
Of all the "Texan's Maps" we have seen, this one is perhaps the most entertaining and consistently outrageous, with wonderful localized vignettes and charm -- "World's Biggest Hats (For the World's Most Modest Heads)".
The map provides a fine idiosyncratic look at Texas and Texans with dozens of clever and humorous one liners and illustrations capturing the essence of Texana in the middle of the 20th Century. Outside of Texas, the humor continues, with the City Limits of Dallas showing up around Santa Barbara, California, the Rockies referred to as the West Foothills of the Davis Mountains, "Indian Reservation consisting mainly of Oklahoma. . . " (and just under the Arctic Circle), Lake Michigan referred to as "Texas Reservoir", and the Mason-Dixon line called the "Northern Boundary of Civilization."
Fort Knox is (Texas Branch Bank). Florida is referred to as the Gulf of Texas Breakwater. Even Washington D.C. is referred to as "Outpost To Protect Texas Interests In The East." The politics on this last one liner has certainly changed since 1949.
The following Biographical Note is copied from the website of the Dallas Public Library:
James Frank Oliver was born October 20, 1916 in Dallas, TX and died on April 20, 2006. He had three careers throughout his eighty-nine years. He worked in New Orleans, LA as a young newspaper cartoonist for the New Orleans Times Picayune. He was also known as a commercial artist in Dallas as well as a published travel writer and Texas sketch artist. . . .
Frank Oliver based his life on the book of James and believed John 3:16 was the most important thing a person could trust. He was a prolific artist, yet modest. He cheered for the Dallas Cowboys, supported Boy Scouts of America, and loved to play golf. He appreciated and sought out natural beauty. He was also an avid story-teller with an enormous imagination.
He became an acclaimed Texas sketch artist through his series titled Texas! Discovering the Lone Star State with Frank Oliver. This series was published weekly in newspapers across the state of Texas. His work covered numerous regions throughout Texas including the Great Plains, Hill Country, Coastal Plains, Rolling Prairies, Gulf Coast, Far West, Piney Woods, and the Rio Grande Valley.
He has a collection of articles that was published in 1972 into a two volume book under the same title as the articles, Texas! Discovering the Lone Star State with Frank Oliver.
The present example was never folded and we suspect that these pictorial maps may never have been released, as we find only a reference to the copy deposited in Washington with the Copyright office in 1949. No examples known to have appeared on the market.