Rare pictorial map of the United States, celebrating the legend of Paul Bunyan.
As noted by David Rumsey:
Humorous pictorial map by R. D. Handy showing the adventures [of Paul Bunyan] across the United States, with illustrations and descriptive notes. Paul Bunyan, holding title cartouche on lower left. Includes illustrations "Beginning of Golf in this Country" when Paul stood at the lower end of Texas and hit rocks into Florida, and compass rose in right margin, "This pointer is correct except for the three years that Paul turned the world around so North was south and south was north". Notes: "This is to certify that all of the facts on this map are without any change or exaggeration ... Witnessed by Johnny Inkslinger Shot Gunerson.
A few other legends include:
- In school Paul used a slab of lime stone for a slate and a big white pine tree for a pencil.
- The 10,000 lakes in the State of Minnesota fill the footprints of Paul's gigantic Blue Ox, Babe who measured forty-two ax handles wide between the eyes.
- The Mississippi River was the result of water leaking from one of Paul's water storage barrels.
- Paul's briny tears filled the Great Salt Lake of Utah.
- When Paul sat down for a smoke to think about his problems, he set off the Great Smokey Mountains.
- When Babe when digging after a field mouse, he created famous Mammoth Caves.
R. D. Handy was a cartoonist working for the Duluth New-Tribune. In 1919, he had apparently risen to General Manager. His work seems to have started as a cartoonist as early as about 1900.
States of the Map
We are aware of two states of the map:
- One dated 1935 at bottom right corner
- One with the extra imprint in red at bottom right corner "Published by R.D. Handy Duluth, MN".