James Garfield beating up Winfield Hancock

Introducing: Vintage Visualizations

Posted by 6ff74e82 tiny Jonathan Soma on sep 12, 2014 under Blog Post

Did you want awesome prints of age-old maps and data viz? No sweat, we've got you covered with a brand-new project: Vintage Visualizations

Once upon a time, long long ago, the United States had just fought the Civil War and was terribly embarrassed about it. "Oh goodness gracious," the government thought. "What did Europe think?"

We needed to do something that made us seem awesome, and so the Census Bureau released a series of gorgeous Census Atlases, full of maps, charts, and eerily-modern-day data visualization. Could a backwater nation track its debt in a full-color chart? Make population pyramids of the blind population? Point out where Methodism was popular with lavish illustration?

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Treemaps of religion by state

The Atlases ran for three decades - 1870, 1880 and 1890 - until they were shelved in favor of less costly means of bragging. Even though they were awesome they were practically hidden for a century or so.

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A choropleth map of milk & butter production 

Two years ago we tracked the Census Atlases down to a repository in the Library of Congress, liberated them into a nice browsable interface, and are now pleased to present something fun and new: the ability to buy prints of those very-fun maps, charts, and data visualizations!

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Ranked state populations

We spent a million or two man-hours trying to get Census Atlas prints made for our space (you've probably seen them framed up front by the couch), and figured we weren't the only folks who wanted copies of neat geological maps or political histories on the go.

Gently placing our nose onto a historical, print-ready grindstone, we've spent the past few months putting together Vintage Visualizations, a one-stop shop for all your historical US map needs. We hope your inner US History teacher enjoys it!

Tagged with data visualization maps history

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