Rare chart of Florida and the Bahamas, published in London by James Imray & Son.
Remarkably detailed charting of the southern half of Florida, northern Cuba, and the Bahamas. Imray fills the chart with a remarkable amount of navigational information including soundings, reefs, rocks, and shoals, as well as navigational routes, currents and extensive notations.
The topographical detail in south Florida is quite remarkable, surpassing any sea chart we have seen. It would appear that this chart would serve as the model for the Norie & Wilson chart issued in 1857.
A few lighthouses are marked with yellow and red, as is typical on Imray charts.
Inset maps include:
- Bahia Honda
- Havana Harbor
- Douglas Road
- Nassau Harbor
This chart is apparently very rare. We were not able to locate another example at auction or in dealer catalogs.
OCLC lists no examples of the chart.
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.