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This chart represents the area around a group of small Japanese islands. The American squadron that sailed to the Far East under the leadership of Commodore Matthew C. Perry found these waters to be particularly treacherous. The United States North Pacific Surveying Expedition created a chart of the area in 1855. This Navy Hydrographic Office published this version of that chart in 1873.
This chart extends from 26°02' to 26°20' north latitude and from 127°07' to 127°43' longitude east from Greenwich. The texts read “U.S. NORTH PACIFIC SURVEYING EXPEDITION / Lieut. JOHN RODGERS, U.S.N., Comdg” and “By the /Vincennes, John Hancock and Fenimore Cooper. / 1855.” The texts at bottom read “Projected by E. R. Knorr. Views by Edwd M. Kern” and “Reduced by Louis Waldeker” and “Corrected March 1873 at the Hydrographic Office, Washington, D.C. / R. H. Wyman, Commo. U.S.N. Hydrographer to the Bureau of Navigation.” One inset view shows False Capstan Head; another shows False Capstan Head, North Fort and South Fort; and another shows Saki Fidja, Range Hill, and Capstan Head.
Ernest R. Knorr was the Chief Engineer Cartographer of the Hydrographic Office from 1860 to 1885. Edward Meyer Kern (1823-1863) was an artist who went on the North Pacific Exploring Expedition. Baron Friedrich Wilhelm Von Egloffstein (1824-1885) was a German topographer who emigrated to the United States in 1849, worked for several major exploring expeditions, developed an early method of photomechanical printing suitable for relief maps, and received a patent on the process in 1865.
The text at bottom right reads “In preparing the topography from the curves and views on file, a plaster model was made and photographed. Maikirima and Assa Ids are heliographic etchings. The rest are transfers of photographs by hand. A tint was ruled over the whole to aid the high lights. Model and Engraving by Frhr F. W. von Egloffstein.”
Ref: Imre Josef Demhardt, “An approximation to a bird’s eye view, and is intelligible to every eye.... Friedrich Wilhelm von Egloffstein, the Exploration of the American West, and Its First Relief Shaded Maps,” in E. Liebenberg and I. J. Demhardt, eds., History of Cartography. International Symposium of the ICA Commission, 2010 (Dordrecht, 2012), pp. 57-74.
David Hanson, “Baron Frederick Wilhelm von Egloffstein,” Printing History 15 (1993): 12-24.
Currently not on view
Object Name
date made
Physical Description
paper (overall material)
overall: 20 1/2 in x 34 1/2 in; 52.07 cm x 87.63 cm
ID Number
catalog number
accession number
Credit Line
National Archives and Records Service
See more items in
Medicine and Science: Physical Sciences
Measuring & Mapping
Prints from the Physical Sciences Collection
Data Source
National Museum of American History
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