This is a beautifully detailed large format map of San Francisco.
The map shows wharves, dry docks, forts, streets, parks, rail lines, rivers, buildings, wards, and much more. The map includes an attractive compass rose.
The city shown would burn to the ground around the time of the making of the map. Despite this, the city would be rebuilt along the same grid structure, so the city looks much the same after as it did before, and Cram was able to continue publishing his maps without major updates. While the layout is similar today, the names for neighborhoods have changed, with "Rancho Rincon" and "Rancho Canada" gone from maps. At the time of this map's creation, San Francisco already had a population of 300,000 and was home to an important economy and the most powerful Pacific-coast military installation.
George F. Cram (1842-1928), or George Franklin Cram, was an American mapmaker and businessman. During the Civil War, Cram served under General William Tecumseh Sherman and participated in his March to the Sea. His letters of that time are now important sources for historians of the Civil War. In 1867, Cram and his uncle, Rufus Blanchard, began the company known by their names in Evanston, Illinois.
Two years later, Cram became sole proprietor and the company was henceforth known as George F. Cram Co. Specializing in atlases, Cram was one of the first American companies to publish a world atlas. One of their most famous products was the Unrivaled Atlas of the World, in print from the 1880s to the 1950s.
Cram died in 1928, seven years after he had merged the business with that of a customer, E.A. Peterson. The new company still bore Cram’s name. Four years later, the Cram Company began to make globes, a branch of the business that would continue until 2012, when the company ceased to operate. For the final several decades of the company’s existence it was controlled by the Douthit family, who sold it just before the company was shuttered.