Lithographed folding map of the Mexican railway system (and the U.S. system as it related to the former) published by Stanford in London in 1882.
The map shows the Mexican national railway running up to Laredo where it crosses into the United States and is fed by numerous tributary railroads. Particular emphasis is put on the Texas & St. Louis Railway which extends to Chicago. In general, the map gives the impression of easy access to
The map differentiates between (Red) The Mexican National Railway, Branches & Connections; (Solid, Thick Grey) The Mexican Railway, Limited; and (Thin Solid and Dashed Grey) The Principal Trough Routes in the United States.
The manuscript additions to the map track the completion of rail laid shortly after the production of the map. It was probably added by a British or American investor in the company tracking the progress of the reorganized build-out in late 1882 or early 1883.
Edward Stanford (1827-1904) was a prominent British mapmaker and publisher. A native of Holborn in the heart of London, Edward was apprenticed to a printer and stationer at the age of 14. After his first master died, he worked with several others, including Trelawny W. Saunders of Charing Cross. Saunders oversaw young Edward’s early career, ensuring that he became a Fellow of the Royal Geographical Society. Associations with the Society eventually brought Sanders much business and gave him a reputation as a publisher of explorers. As testament to this reputation, the Stanford Range in British Columbia was named for him by John Palliser.
Stanford briefly partnered with Saunders in 1852 before striking out on his own in 1853. He was an agent for the Ordnance Survey, the Admiralty, the Geological Survey, the Trigonometrical Survey of India, and the India Office. He also controlled the maps of the Society for the Diffusion of Useful Knowledge, another lucrative source of income. In 1857, Stanford founded his namesake Geographical Establishment, with Saunders and A. K. Johnston as engravers. Thereafter, Stanford was known for his “library maps”, particularly those of Africa and Asia.
Although he had authored many maps, the Harrow Atlas of Modern Geography and a similar volume on classical geography, Stanford is better remembered today as the leader of a successful map business. Ever in search of more inventory, he acquired the plates and stock of John Arrowsmith, heir of the Arrowmsith family firm, in 1874. By 1881 he employed 87 people at his premises at 6 Charing Cross Road, Saunders’ old address. As he aged, he phased in his son Edward Jr. to run the business. He died in 1904. The business survived him, and the Stanford’s shop is still a prominent London landmark today.