The Rand McNally New Commercial Atlas Map of South Carolina, dating from 1917, presents a vivid snapshot of a state in the midst of significant infrastructural and societal growth. Precisely delineated cities, counties, rivers, and railroads serve as markers of this transformative epoch, which occurred shortly before the formal creation of Allendale County.
The early twentieth century, as depicted in this map, was a dynamic period in South Carolina's history. Rapid industrial growth was spurred by an expanding railroad network, fostering increased urbanization and development. The map effectively encapsulates this pivotal time in the state's evolution, providing a fascinating visual representation of the complex interplay between geography, commerce, and infrastructure.
Paying particular attention to the railroads, the Rand McNally New Commercial Atlas Map of South Carolina manifests the technological and industrial advancements of the era. The map's annotation of railroad lines serves as a testament to the significance of rail transport and its influence on the economic life of the state. Each line drawn and labeled exposes the dynamic pathways of a developing industrial organism, portraying the intricate system of transportation networks that played a pivotal role in shaping South Carolina's destiny.
The use of color to demarcate counties, and the meticulous representation of the state's physical features and transportation network, highlight the Rand McNally New Commercial Atlas Map's commitment to clarity and detail. As such, the map offers far more than a geographical snapshot: it is an artifact testifying to the ongoing processes of industrial growth, infrastructural development, and regional identity formation in early twentieth-century South Carolina.
Rand McNally & Co. is a large American map and navigation company best known for its annual atlases. The company got its start in 1856, when William Rand opened a print shop in Chicago. He was joined in 1858 by a new employee, Andrew McNally. Together, the men established their namesake company in 1868. Originally, the company was intended to print the tickets and timetables for the trains running to and through Chicago; their first railway guide was published in 1869.
By 1870, they had shifted from just printing to publishing directories, travel guides, and newspapers. Their first map appeared in 1872 in a railway guide. The map was produced using a new wax engraving method, a cheaper process that gave the company an edge.
By 1880 Rand McNally had entered the education market with globes, wall maps, and geography texts for students. In 1923, Rand McNally published the first Goode’s World Atlas, named after its editor, Dr. J. Paul Goode. For generations afterward, this would be the standard classroom atlas.
In 1899, William Rand left the company, but McNally and his family remained, controlling the company for over a century. In 1904, they published their first road map intended for automobiles and by 1907 were publishing Photo-Auto Guides, which combined photography and mapping to help drivers. In 1924, they produced the Auto Chum, a precursor to their famous road atlases. Rand McNally would remain the leader in road maps and atlases throughout the twentieth century.
In 1937, Rand McNally opened its first store in New York City. Ever on the frontier of technology, Rand McNally pioneered the scribing process for printing tickets in 1958 and printed their first full-color road atlas in 1960. Arthur Robinson developed his now-famous projection of Rand McNally in 1969. By the 1980s, the company was exploring digital reproduction and digital databases of maps for truckers. In the 1990s, they lead the charge to develop trip-planning software and websites. Today, most of its products are available online or in a digital format, including maps for tablets and phones.