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Historical Map of the World - 1538

World Map, Mercator

This world map on two sheets is an early work of the famous Flemish cartographer Gerardus Mercator (1512–94). Only two copies of the map are extant: this one from the American Geographical Society Library, and one at the New York Public Library. This is also the first map to apply the name America to the North American continent as well as to South America and to differentiate North and South America as separate continents. In using the term “America” in this way, Mercator shares responsibility with Martin Waldseemüller for naming the Western Hemisphere. Mercator was a master of engraving and a creator of mathematical instruments and terrestrial globes. His solution to the problem of accurately conveying the Earth’s sphere in only two dimensions, as used here in a double-heart-shaped projection, resulted in maps of greatly increased accuracy. Mercator’s navigational charts enabled compass bearings to be plotted in straight lines on charts and clarified longitude and latitude measurements.

Item# Size Shp Wt Price Click to buy
1W-WO-1538-S 24" x 17.5" 2 lbs $29.95 add to basket
1W-WO-1538-M 36" x 26.5" 2 lbs $44.95 add to basket
1W-WO-1538-L 42" x 31" 4 lbs $59.95 add to basket
1W-WO-1538-XL 57" x 42" 4 lbs $79.95 add to basket
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All reproduction prints are printed as "museum quality", using advanced ink formulas and durable museum quality paper.  The reproduction prints reflect the state of repair of the original conserved document. Stains and imperfections reflected in the original map at the time it was collected for conservation are left un-retouched, as they reflect the character and charm of the vintage original. Some major imperfections, such as dark fold lines have been removed when possible.  Maps are printed as ordered and are not returnable unless received damaged.