Topographic Map of America, 1884

This 1884 relief map of America is being sold at the New Hampshire antique store Mill Goods. Not only is it a unique shape, it’s quite large too: 4′ high by 6′ 4″ at its widest point.* The cartographer is Edwin E. Howell, a USGS Geologist who made many—at least 56—relief maps, though this is the only one I can find in this odd shape. It’s made of painted plaster and surrounded with a wood frame.

I’m sort of wishing I could be pouring plaster right now, instead of mocking up a webmap in Balsamiq. Maybe my webmap client would enjoy a plaster mockup instead?!

On a non-related note, if anyone has advice regarding the use of Google Web Fonts in IE 7 and 8, could you let me know? I’ve heard they are rendering incorrectly but am unsure if that’s just for bold and/or italic variants.

*That’s got to be heavy.

  1. #1 by Keith on September 12, 2012 - 8:28 pm

    In regards to your web fonts question, the Google Web Fonts API does support IE6+ ( However, there are problems in IE7 & 8 where faux bold and italic fonts are used instead…at least when using the default implementations. Smashing Magazine has a great article on how to get around this – Avoiding Faux Weights and Styles With Google Web Fonts (


  2. #2 by Gretchen on September 13, 2012 - 5:19 am

    @Keith Thanks. Great info!

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