One of the great California pictorial maps from the Golden Age of American Pictorial mapmaking.
The map stretches from San Francisco in the lower-left corner to San Emigdio Mountains at the right and the Sierra Nevadas in the background. The map thus takes in all of the lower San Joaquin Valley. The map is surrounded by vignettes which highlight the regions agricultural and petroleum riches, as well as the natural beauty of Yosemite, the Sequoias, and the mountains.
The map is characteristic of Max Schmidt's exceptional skill with color printing.
Rumsey (8069) dates it to circa 1919 - 1932 based on the use of 2-cent stamp. Library of Congress estimates the date as 1923. Later Schmidt Litho & Co. would expand to Los Angeles, as well. On this map, they are given solely as "Schmidt Litho Co. Fresno and S.F."
The Schmidt Lithography Company was based in San Francisco. Max Schmidt, a German immigrant, founded his first printing business in 1873, and he was one of the first printers to use lithography on the West Coast. His plant burned twice, in 1884 and 1886, but by the 1890s he ran a factory in San Francisco, as well as branches in Portland and Seattle.
During the 1906 earthquake and fire the company’s premises were destroyed again. Schmidt quickly acquired a nearby paper factory and production continued practically uninterrupted. Within two years of the fire, Schmidt had rebuilt on the site of his former factory at the corner of Second and Bryant Streets.
Schmidt’s company was best known for its printed labels, but they also produced other items like separately-issued prints. The company was once the largest printing company on the West Coast and today they are remembered for the clock tower that still stands at Second and Bryant Streets.