The Only Woman Map Publisher in the Country
Remarkable large format map of Los Angeles, originally prepared by Laura L. Whitlock of the Los Angeles Railway in 1910.
The map focuses on the lines of the Los Angeles Railway (shown in yellow and known as the Yellow Cars), Pacific Electric Railway (shown in red and known as the Red Cars).
The map illustrates radial distances from downtown. This map shows the remarkable development of the Los Angeles streetcar system as of 1920.
The map seen here is very large and detailed, especially in the rail lines (which were Whitlock's passion). We can see the yellow lines of the LARY (Los Angeles Railway)and the red lines of the PE (Pacific Electric). There is an excellent rendering of the Los Angeles River with many other landmarks present: Exposition Park before the Coliseum, Watts when it was agricultural, the early iterations of Hollywood, the Silver Lake reservoir, and Eagle Rock Valley, along with assorted neighborhoods (Pico Heights, Annandale, Boyle Heights, Arlington Heights).
In the upper left is the San Fernando Valley, which became suddenly vital, upon its new nourishment, by the water of the Los Angeles Aqueduct. Additional inset maps show "The Palms and Sawtelle.
Laura L. Whitlock
Of equal note, the map is the work of Laura L. Whitlock, "the official mapmaker of Los Angeles County" during the teens and "the only woman map publisher in the country" at that point.
Laura was born in Iowa but migrated west with her mother, first to Nebraska and later to Los Angeles in 1895. She again taught music at 6th and Hill, but by 1901, she took a job at a florist who shared quarters with a tourist information bureau.
In 1907, she was selected president of the Pacific Coast Travel club and commenced her career making and selling maps. During this time she studied all manner of railroad and engineering maps and put together six plates of an official map of the city, while working out of her office in the Los Angeles Times building. Unfortunately, all of these originals were destroyed when the Times building was bombed on October 1, 1910, forcing her to rebuild from scratch, while defending against pirated copies of her maps.
She became an aggressive litigant, preserving her map copyrights. Ultimately winning a substantial.
After the settlement, she set up shop in the Exchange Building where she created this fine map as well as one of the Pacific Electric Interurban Railway System that recalls all of the stations along the routes. The maps were announced in late January 1911 and published the next month with great success.
States of the Map
The copyright notice suggests that the map was issued in 1910, 1911, 1912, 1913, 1914, 1915, 1919 and 1920.
The map is quite rare on the market, this being the first example we have ever seen offered for sale.