Interesting Midcentury pictorial map of the world, issued by the Red Cross to commemorate the centennial of the birth of the idea for the organization by Henri Dunant in 1859.
The map depicts the offices of the Red Cross, Red Crescent, or Red Lion and Sun Society around the world. In the Southern Hemisphere are illustrations of the peoples of the world in their local dress. In the Northern Hemisphere are photographic illustrations of the works of the Red Cross around the world. The flags of member states form borders at the top and bottom.
The map was designed by Hugo Wetli and printed by Kummerly & Frey in Bern, Switzerland. In an attempt to get ahead of any geopolitical faux pas a discrete note in the lower-right informs the reader that the map represents the "Political situation as of 1 September 1958".
The idea for the Red Cross came to Dunant as he witnessed the aftermath of the Battle of Solferino during the Second Italian War of Independence, in which thousands were killed and tens of thousands were wounded. Dunant was the scion of a wealthy Swiss family and had been traveling extensively, especially in North Africa, prior to seeing the battle. After witnessing the carnage and working to organize help for the wounded, Dunant conceived of an organization without political or national affiliation that would provide care for wounded soldiers and prisoners of war.
Dunant's involvement with the founding of the Red Cross organization is a fascinating historical vignette and well worth reading one of the several articles that have been written about it. He eventually fell out with Swiss high society, apparently because of a failed business venture that cost close friends and family large sums and may have involved some impropriety on his part. His fall from grace was so extreme that he ended up living in almost complete obscurity until tracked down by the Nobel Prize committee to be given the first Nobel Peace Prize.