Hitchcock, Charles H.; Atlas Accompanying the Report on the Geology of New Hampshire. Julius Bien, New York, 1878. Elephant folio of 15 (of 17) maps and plates (lacks two panoramas) plus original title cover.
Volume III of the text for the atlas provides the index for this atlas. It calls for 17 plates. The plates consist of: Two views (not present here and often lacking), one pencil panorama of a camera view, two facsimiles of earlier maps; Carrigain 1816 and Holland 1784, six printed colored sheets providing a geological map of the state, five sheets showing the surface geology of the state. The northwest sheet covered Vermont except for one small area in the lower right corner and the decision was made to make the northeast surface geology sheet about one inch wider to accommodate the lower right corner of the northwest sheet. Thus only five sheets were needed for the surface geology. One sheet showing the Ammonoosuc Mining District which is hand-colored. This totals fifteen sheets of the 17 that were actually issued for the finished atlas. With the exception of the two facsimiles of earlier maps each sheet measures about 32 x 23.5 inches. The two facsimiles are smaller as issued. Scale for the maps is two and a half miles to the inch.
The atlas was originally issued with the sheets loose and in a heavier stock title covers. This would account for so few copies of the atlas being preserved.
Our copy has the sheets loose with the original title cover. The maps and cover have been repacked with archival tissue and lightly trimmed at the edges. The original heavier stock cover has been preserved as a title cover in a clam shell case with string ties.
The plates are clean and bright with sharp colors. Very minor stain to the very outer margin of two sheets, well outside the map image. Over all this is a very good copy of a rare atlas.
Charles Henry Hitchcock (1836-1919) was an American geologist. He was born in Amherst Massachusetts and was the son of of the noted geolgist Edward Hitchcock (1793-1864). His mother was Orra White Hitchcock, who illustrated much of Edward Hitchcock’s work.
Charles Hitchcock studied geology and became the assistant state geologist of Vermont and state geologist of Maine. He was to serve as the state geologist of New Hampshire from 1868 to 1878. Hitchcock also taught geology and mineralogy at the University of New Hampshire from 1868 to 1908. He was a founding member of the Geological Society of America
Under his directorship of the New Hampshire geological survey the state completed the first truly comprehensive geological survey of the state. The results were published in three large volumes between 1874 and 1878 and the elephant folio atlas which was published in 1878. Hitchcock’s work was greatly influenced by the King, Wheeler, Hayden and Powell surveys of the west. These surveys produced some of the largest folio atlases produced up to that time. Hitchcock’s atlas of New Hampshire was the only large folio Geological Atlas made of an eastern state. One thousand sets of the three volumes of text were printed. The atlas carried a price of $10 in 1878 and due to its size the atlas was not mailed to a buyer but had to be picked up in Concord, NH. I do not know how many copies of the atlas were printed.