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Rare Porcineographic-Style Map of the United States

Fantastic depiction of the United States, showing each state represented in pig form, with an associated nickname. Produced as a pictorial advertisement for the H.W. Hill and Company, an Illinois-based producer of "hog ringers" - the porcine nose piercings that prevented pigs from rooting.

The nicknames range from the pointed ("Utah" is surrounded by a number of female pig-wives), to the clever (in Iowa, "Hawkeye" flies above land while in Minnesota the pig is disguised as a gopher), to the representative (in Texas, "Beef Head" looks like an old-style rancher). Each state and territory has a similar portrayal, although some are harder to decipher ("Arizonia" is simply being blown away, or cooking?, without any costume).

A Brief History of Swine-Mapping

This is a truly clever map and a remarkably early pictorial map, produced in the golden ages of post-Civil War advertising. The 1870s and 1880s saw a spat of pork-related mapping, starting out with the all-important "Porcineograph," an 1875 souvenir for guests of one of the most famous parties of the time. Produced by William Baker, the map campaigned for sanitary living conditions for pigs as a matter of food safety and was targeted at his very well-to-do audience. That map depicts no pigs within each state, but the US is given the shape of a pig, with a tail of Washington and Baja California commandeered to form a rear leg.

In 1878, W. H. Hill & Co took up the idea of using a farm animal-based map as an advertisement. This first issue of the advertisement was a simply-informative map. For all the states in which data was available, they listed the number of farm animals alongside a very well-behaved coy, sheep, and pig. This 1884 map, the third traced swine-based map we could locate is where the creativity really shines - with fantastic depictions in every state and an excess of decorative imagery employed.


OCLC lists only two institutional holdings, one at the University of Minnesota and one at the Newberry Library. Two further examples reside at the Library of Congress and in the PJ Mode collection, Cornell University. We trace only one example of this map ever having appeared on the market.