A Massive Chart of the Southern Pacific Ocean -- Including Sailing Tracks from an 1852 Voyage
Large sea chart of the South Pacific Ocean, extending from the Philippines and Australia in the west to the Coastline of South America, published by James Imray & Son in London and engraved by James Stevenson.
The present chart includes pencil notes for a voyage which rounded Cape Horn in December 1852 (likely headed for California) and returned via the same route in August 1853.
Imray's general chart of the South Pacific, etc. was one of the primary general navigational sea charts of the region used in the middle part of the 19th Century.
James Imray was a publisher specialized in nautical charts. He started one of the most successful blue-back chart-selling companies of the nineteenth century; it is still in business today. Imray’s father was a dyer and he was born in Spitalfields, London, an area known for its garment industry. James did not want to enter the garment trade, however, and instead apprenticed to Stationer William Lukyn in 1818. Imray began his business as a book publisher and seller; however, he shared premises with Robert Blachford, a chartseller. Imray entered into business with Robert’s successor, Michael. He turned the business into a success and bought Blachford out in 1846, publishing under the imprint of James Imray. In 1854, son James Frederick joined as a partner and the imprint changed to Imray & Son. They thrived thanks to targeted marketing and excellent compilation charts that focused on trade routes. The busines entered in a long decline after the death of James Sr. in 1870. In 1899, Imray & Son amalgamated with Norie & Wilson. This conglomerate was bought by the Laurie firm in 1904 and today the business trades as Imray, Laurie, Norie & Wilson.