Culture Magazine

Weird Map Of North America

By Gerard @presurfer
Weird Map Of North America
In the late 1800s, merchants in the city of Superior, Wisconsin needed a way to convince other companies that their fair hamlet deserved to be a national center of manufacturing and shipping. To advance their cause, the Superior business interests created this weird map of a skinless, naked giant splayed entirely over the North American continent.
'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 Presurfer

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