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Rare, large didactic wall map of Europe published by Pelton & Clarke in Philadelphia in 1843.

The map was intended to follow the "Prussian School System" method of teaching geography. The Prussian educational model is famous today for its substantial influence on modern education the world over, however, its relevance in the particular context is not exactly clear. The map relies heavily on a system of emblems and presumably a mnemonic learning method based on those symbols.

The map differentiates "State of Civilization" into five categories: Enlightened (most of Western Europe), Civilized (Southern Italy, Greece, Iceland, etc.), Half Civilized (Romania, Bulgaria), Barbarous (northeastern Russia), and Savage. Forms of government receive separate symbols, as do religions. Presumably, it was felt that with these visual queues, students would more readily remember these elements of human geography.

The map was probably produced by Cale Pelton (1811-1853) who is sometimes credited as an engraver of educational maps from the 1840s. For this map, he was in partnership with Clarke in Philadelphia. 

The University of Michigan has a digitized key to Pelton's outline maps, published a decade after the present map:;view=fulltext

Pelton also produced maps of the United States and Mexico, South America and Africa, and Asia and the Holy Land. These maps utilized similar emblematic keys.

An 1851 Key states the purpose of the outline maps in Pelton's own worlds:

It is now conceded by Educators of the greatest experience, both in this country and Europe that the method of teaching Geography from large and boldly delineated Maps without names, is superior to all others in respect to facility of acquirement—durability of impression—and discipline of mind. The rationale of this method of instruction is teaching by the eye—based on that law of intellect that the objects of sight more readily become the subjects of conception and memory than those of other senses; and the more distinctly they are seen, the more lively is the conception, and the most lasting the impression on the mind [original emphasis].


This map is evidently extremely rare, with no copies located in OCLC nor in RBH.

Condition Description
Original color. Four sheets joined as one. Darkened varnish. Some areas of chipping and flaking particularly at old fold intersections. Complete and relatively good condition for this format but with some paper stability issues.