U.S. Coast and Geodetic Survey

Entrance to San Francisco Bay California 1859

Entrance to San Francisco Bay California from 1859

DESCRIPTION: Superb, large, antique U.S. Coast Survey chart of San Francisco Bay, the city of San Francisco, California, and lower Marin County, California on heavy paper with no folds. Laid down nicely to board. Produced just 10 years after the beginning of the California Gold Rush it shows numerous soundings and aids to navigation including Fort Point Light, Point Bonita Light, Yerba Buena Light, and Alcatraz Light.

Coverage includes San Francisco and Sausalito and the surrounding areas and is the original 1859 electrotype edition not a later corrected version. Like later editions, the bottom of the chart contains two views of the bay- both inbound and outbound the port showing both steam and sail-powered vessels underway and at anchor. This 1859 edition contains a third engraved view not found in later editions- "View of the Entrance to San Pablo Bay from near Angel Island". In later editions that view was removed to make room for notes and tables.

Named points of interest include the Presidio, Oakland, Cliff House, Ocean House, Sausalito, Alcatraz Island, Mission Bay, San Leandro, Yerba Buena Island, Mission de Delores, Table Mountain, Brooklyn, Alameda, and of course the Golden Gate (with no bridge).

This chart was printed in 1859 from an electrotype copy of the original hand-engraved copper plate, a process the U.S. Coast Survey adopted around 1850. As a soft medium, copper plates could only withstand print runs of perhaps 200 copies before the plates wore down. To enable larger print runs, a mold of the original plate was created in wax or another soft medium. Then, using an electro-chemical processs ( electrotyping ), the mold was coated with a metal layer, typically copper. Printers were then able to produce output from the new electrotype copper copy, while preserving the original. Electrotype copy no. 2. With the circular stamp of the U.S. Coast Survey.

CREATOR: U.S. Coast and Geodetic Survey



BODY OF WATER: San Francisco Bay

CONDITION: Excellent  A fine example. Laid to board. Light impression toward the edges. Beautiful and very clean with fine details. Physical evidence of platemark and printer's ink residue with wide margins.


ENGRAVER: Knight, Blondeau, and Mezeroth

SIZE: 38 " x 24 "


PRICE: $2500


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