19th century Google maps: ‘Bird's Eye Views of Vermont’
Art Business

19th century Google maps: ‘Bird’s Eye Views of Vermont’

Take a close look at the 1884 “bird’s eye” map of Montpelier and you see a tiny black steam engine, just emerged from a covered rail bridge over the Winooski, heading north. Another engine, three cars in tow, chugs south, just past the Montpelier Carriage Company, Fisher and Cotton Nickel Plating Works and Sabin Manufacturing Company’s door springs factory. The State House, churches, and many businesses and civic buildings stand prominently at their addresses as scores of tidy houses line neighborhood streets. There are also tiny boaters on the river and horses, carriages and pedestrians going about their business. Montpelier is clearly a bright and prospering city. This appealing image of Montpelier is among the 19th century prints in the exhibition “Mapping an Uneven Country: Bird’s Eye Views of Vermont” that opened last week in the Colgate Gallery of the Pizzagalli Center for Art and Education at Shelburne Museum. With over three dozen drawn, painted and printed views, the show explores the “perspective” or “bird’s eye” prints and paintings that found widespread popularity in the late 1800s. The show features Vermont towns — Bennington to St. Albans, Brattleboro to St. Johnsbury. From the earliest, an 1845 lithograph of Bellows […]

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