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Projecting Time Travel on a Map with Isochrons

A handsome example of Bacon's "Library and Commercial" World map, issued in London in about 1910.

This map is special for the unusual way in which it communicates information about global travel times with a set of three "Isochronic" inset maps. These maps use color gradient contours to show how long it would take to travel to any part of the globe from London, Melbourne, and New York.

Many of the conclusions that one can draw from these isochronic maps are fairly intuitive (the interior of South America and Africa are hard to reach from most other places), however, there are plenty of noteworthy points, for instance, the remotest parts of the Australian outback took longer to reach from Melbourne than did London. These isochronic maps surely show up in atlases from the period, and perhaps earlier, but they were fast gaining relevance during decades in which international travel times were rapidly shrinking.

Related to this subject, there are many steamship routes crossing the World's oceans, with days for transit noted.

The map also shows elements of global communications, namely Marconi Wireless Stations and the Marconi Imperial Scheme.

Dating the Map

While we have not done an exhaustive search of the map for dating information, several factors (namely the non-existence of Albania) point to a publication date of 1910-12.

Condition Description
Segmented and laid on two sheets of linen, folded into a cloth folder with printed title.