American Airlines. 1944.
Color poster, pictorial map, image 22 x 33 inches (56 x 84 cm) on sheet 23 x 34 inches, folding to 11 1/2 x 8 1/2 inches as issued. Pinholes to corners, little chipping to ends of centrefold (not affecting map), otherwise very good. This simple but graphically striking map is a fine example of the "air age" geography that was a hallmark of the late 1930s and 1940s in America. Mapmakers such as Richard Edes Harrison and Charles Owens employed new map projections to convey a more realistic sense of distance than the traditional Mercator projection allowed. In this map issued by American Airlines with the United States at its centre routes are represented by lines of airplanes: "The airplanes on the map are spaced 250 miles apart, each one representing one hour's flight. By counting the number of airplanes along any route, you can find the number of hours it takes to reach the places shown from the United States by air." The map is bordered by illustrations of products used in building airplanes: "some of the vital Air-Age materials are listed here...to understand the needs of our country in the Air age, we must know what materials are needed to build airplanes, where they can be obtained, how they may be shipped, and how accessible are the sources of supply." Under the heading "Fuel for the Air Age" is a listing of six plane types with speeds and number of miles per gallon flown, so that, at 10 cents per gallon, "you can easily figure...how many War Stamps would be needed to pay for the fuel to fly a warplane to any point on the Air World Map." Item #37711