|Published||Engraved by Lewis Becker on Steel, by his Patent Process. Vincent Brooks, Lith. London: Published by S.O. Beeton, Bouverie St, Fleet St, E.C. [c.1860]|
|Dimensions||215 x 255 mm|
A fascinating mid-Victorian map of Europe and North Africa, demonstrating the telegraphic network, designed by one Francis Young and revised by the Electric and International Telegraph Company, most likely for a scientific or technological dictionary or encyclopaedia. The map is criss-crossed by the telegraph lines, with each node in the network named and hubs in major cities marked in capitals. Submarine lines are marked as dashes, connecting America to Ireland, Sardinia to the North African lines as well as Malta and Corfu, Athens to Smyrna, and Varna and Constantinople to Crete and Alexandria.
Lewis Becker (fl.1860) was a London-based steel engraver, whose 'patent process' may indicate some familial connection to a better known contemporary namesake, Francis Paul Becker, who also experimented with engraving and lithographic processes.
Vincent Brooks (1815-1885) was a British printmaker, publisher, and stationer, and one of the most prominent figures of Victorian printing. His father, John, was a printer and stationer, known mostly as a publisher of 'radical' pamphlets. Vincent is first recorded as trading under his own name in 1848, adopting the lithographic process and experimenting with chromolithography. His empire continued to flourish, eventually buying up the businesses of competitors, including the Leighton Brothers and Hodgson & Son, as well as blocks and material from George Baxter. His most notable acquisition came in 1867, when he purchased Day & Son, adding his name to the company and successfully resurrecting it as 'Vincent Brooks, Day & Son.'
Samuel Orchart Beeton (1830-1877) was a British publisher, whose printworks produced the Boy's Own Magazine, Beeton's Christmas Annual (the 1887 edition of which contained the first of Conan Doyle's Sherlock Holmes stories), and the first British edition of Harriet Beecher Stowe's Uncle Tom's Cabin. He is perhaps best known though as the husband of Isabella Mary Mayson, whose Mrs Beeton's Book of Household Management was first published in 1861.
Condition: Vertical and horizontal folds as issued. Minor tears to bottom of vertical folds. Trimmed to border at top right corner, as issued. Minor time toning to folds. Minor text offsetting to left side of map, and on verso.