Map The Man of Commerce.
About this Item
- The Man of Commerce.
- "The Man of Commerce" is a detailed map that conflates human anatomy with the American transportation system. Published in 1889 by the Land & River Improvement Company of Superior, Wisconsin, the map promotes Superior as a transportation hub and shows the routes of 29 railroads across the United States. The outline map of North America is superimposed by a cutaway diagram of the human body. The map's metaphor makes West Superior "the center of cardiac or heart circulation." The railways become major arteries. New York is "the umbilicus through which this man of commerce was developed." The explanatory notes conclude: "It is an interesting fact that in no other portion of the known world can any such analogy be found between the natural and artificial channels of commerce and circulatory and digestive apparatus of man." Use of the human body as a cartographic metaphor dates back at least to the 16th century, to the anthropomorphic map of Europe as a queen in Sebastian Münster's Cosmography (1570). This map may be the earliest application of this metaphor to North America. The cartographer was A.F. McKay, who in 1889 briefly served as the editor of the Superior Sentinel newspaper. The map was engraved by Rand McNally. The American Geographical Society Library acquired the map in 2009, aided in part by the Map Society of Wisconsin. The only other known copy of this map is in a private collection.
- McKay, A. F. (Augustus F.) Cartographer.
- Rand McNally and Company Engraver.
Created / Published
- Superior, Wisconsin : Land and River Improvement Company, 1889.
- - United States of America
- - 1889
- - Commerce
- - Human anatomy
- - Railroads
- - Title devised, in English, by Library staff.
- - "Relief shown by hachures. Includes text and guide to railroad abbreviations."--Note extracted from World Digital Library.
- - Original resource extent: 1 map : color ; 79 x 127 centimeters.
- - Original resource at: University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee Libraries.
- - Content in English.
- - Description based on data extracted from World Digital Library, which may be extracted from partner institutions.
- 1 online resource.
- American Geographical Society Library Digital Map Collection
Library of Congress Control Number
- compressed data
Additional Metadata Formats
IIIF Presentation Manifest
Rights & Access
The Library of Congress is unaware of any copyright or other restrictions in the World Digital Library Collection. Absent any such restrictions, these materials are free to use and reuse. Researchers are encouraged to review the source information attached to each item. For information on contacting WDL partner organizations, see this archived list of partners
The Library asks that researchers approach the materials in this collection with respect for the culture and sensibilities of the people whose lives, ideas, and creativity are documented here.
Credit Line: [Original Source citation], World Digital Library
More about Copyright and other Restrictions
For additional information and contact information for many of the partner organizations, see this archived capture of the World Digital Library site from 2021.
For guidance about compiling full citations consult Citing Primary Sources.
Cite This Item
Citations are generated automatically from bibliographic data as a convenience, and may not be complete or accurate.
Chicago citation style:
Mckay, A. F. Cartographer, and Rand Mcnally And Company Engraver. The Man of Commerce. Superior, Wisconsin: Land and River Improvement Company, 1889. Map. https://www.loc.gov/item/2021668439/.
APA citation style:
McKay, A. F. C. & Rand Mcnally And Company Engraver. (1889) The Man of Commerce. Superior, Wisconsin: Land and River Improvement Company. [Map] Retrieved from the Library of Congress, https://www.loc.gov/item/2021668439/.
MLA citation style:
Mckay, A. F. Cartographer, and Rand Mcnally And Company Engraver. The Man of Commerce. Superior, Wisconsin: Land and River Improvement Company, 1889. Map. Retrieved from the Library of Congress, <www.loc.gov/item/2021668439/>.