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A Biblical Map by A Remarkable World Traveller

Rare educational wall map of the Biblical World before the Flood, published by Antonia Frederick Fuller, who is often thought to be the inspiration for Indiana Jones.

Antonia Frederick Futterer's map of the Antediluvian Period represents a convergence of biblical narrative and cartographic interpretation. Published in Los Angeles in 1916 by Antonia Frederick Futterer, this document provides an illustrative account of the world before the biblical flood, as part of "Futterer's Bible Eyeography" in an attempt to master the Bible by sight.

The map is both geographical representation and chronological guide, detailing the lineage from Adam to Noah and the corresponding events leading up to the flood. The significance of this map lies in its attempt to synchronize biblical events with physical geography, presenting the antediluvian world in a tangible form. It situates the viewer in the early 20th century, a time when biblical history was often interpreted through a literal lens, reflecting the era's quest for integrating faith with empirical observation.

The map was apparently part of a series, Futterer's New Map System of Rapid Education. Futterer's subtitle, "Mastering the Bible By Sight," illustrates the intent to provide a visual supplement to the scriptural text. The publication history, in both London and subsequently in Los Angeles signifies the widespread interest in biblical scholarship during the period, and the map's design reflects the pedagogical methods of the time, focused on memorization and visualization.

The cartographic style of the map, with its clear demarcations of the days of creation and the genealogical progression from Adam to Noah, reflects the early 20th-century didactic approach to biblical education. This piece stands as a remarkable example of the era's educational prints, offering a richly detailed and thought-provoking representation of a world long contemplated in theology and literature.

Futterer seems to have had a long history in bible education. We note a title copyrighted dated March 4, 1909 and renewed September 26, 1939, entitled "World. 4,000 years of history in one hour, by Futterer's new map system of Rapid Education."  The Newberry Library and University of Chicago hold copies of the 4th edition of this work, published in 1918 in New York by the "New Eye-ographic System Bible Promoters' Club," entitled 

Fütterer's patent universal eye-ographic Bible atlas: (4000 years' history visualized in one hour) for Bible students, Sunday schools and Bible colleges, in three editions--Protestant, Catholic and Jewish.

The Bible atlas was described itself as:

The lastest rapid simple self-instructing map-chart system. A three-fold instructor 1 --- seeing, 2 --- traveling, 3 --- hearing."/ "Bible students' improved handy loose-leaf edition 1918. Can be taken apart and extra loose leaves inserted."/ At foot of maps: This map can be used with all Sunday school lessons or lectures. It is published for wall use 52 x 36 inches./ Publisher's advertisements on p. 31.

A similar work is recorded in OCLC, published in 1912, entitled 4000 years history in one hour, which apparently consisted of 10 sheets (21 x 28 inches each), is held in the Eran Laor collection at Jerusalem National Library.

This map was acquired as part of a set of 4 maps, numbered lessons 1, 2, 3 and 5, suggesting that at least 1 map in the set may have been missing.  However, as the wall maps essentially unrecorded, we can only surmise that these are 8 of the 10 sheets reference in the note above in the Jerusalem National Library.

We were not able to connect this work to a London publication.


The map is extremely rare.  We were unable to locate any other surviving examples.

Condition Description
Laid on linen, attached to wood rollers.
Antonia Frederick Futterer Biography

Antonia Frederick Futterer, an illustrious figure in the realm of biblical scholarship and preaching, was born inf Sydney, Australia on June 12, 1871, to a German father and Danish mother.  Futterer’s early years were spent in Australia where, during the 1890s, the lure of gold brought him to Coolgardie, Western Australia. However, serious health issues, namely recurrent appendicitis, cut his endeavors short and almost claimed his life.

During a period of convalescence, Futterer read a passage from the Book of Proverbs in the Bible. This encounter with scripture led to a personal vow to dedicate his life to preaching if he were to recover, a promise he fulfilled upon his return to health. He took this commitment back to the mining camps, where he began his work as a preacher.

Futterer’s journey took a significant turn when he was sent to America by preacher Alexis Jeffries. By 1911, Futterer had developed the “Eye-Ographic Bible Atlas” in Oakland, California. This work was an innovative educational tool, combining illustrations and concise narratives to aid in teaching the Old Testament.

His quest for biblical knowledge and artifacts led to his founding of the Bible Knowledge Society in Los Angeles in 1924. Futterer's fascination with biblical history propelled him to the Holy Land in pursuit of the Ark of the Covenant, an endeavor that, despite not yielding the intended discovery, resulted in the acquisition of many historical artifacts, and contributed to the story that Futterer was the real life inspiration for the Indiana Jones character.

These artifacts became the cornerstone of the Holyland Exhibition in California, which Futterer established to showcase the cultural and historical treasures he had collected. This exhibition remains a reservoir of ancient relics from various biblical lands, including oil lamps, jewelry, and a sarcophagus dating back thousands of years.

In the latter part of his life, Futterer authored one of the first modern travel guides to the Holy Land, titled “Palestine Speaks,” and contributed to film productions with his collection of artifacts. 

Futterer's life, though shrouded in some mythological layers akin to those of the fictional Indiana Jones, was grounded in the earnest endeavor to educate and illuminate the historical context of the Bible. His legacy, preserved in his writings and the Holyland Exhibition, continues to offer a glimpse into the rich tapestry of biblical history.   

Futterer's legacy is interwoven with the fabric of Southern California's spiritual history, standing shoulder to shoulder with contemporaries such as Aimee Semple MacPherson.  His life and endeavors have led some to draw parallels with the fictional character Indiana Jones, the iconic archaeologist and adventurer of film fame. While Futterer never discovered the Ark of the Covenant, his extensive travels to the Holy Land, the artifacts he gathered, and the public nature of his quests contributed to this speculation. Like Indiana Jones, Futterer was a charismatic figure who embarked on intrepid expeditions, engaging with historical mysteries and ancient texts. He sought out biblical relics with a passion that matched the cinematic hero's quest for lost treasures.