I was fortunate enough to add this charming, and made all the more so by its diminutive size at less than 4 x 6 inches, lakes comparative to my collection. It’s from Carey & Lea’s 1832 Family Cabinet Atlas and engraved by Hamm.
While I was examining it I noticed that rather than being shown as is, looking like an elongated kidney bean, Lake Michigan is shown as straight as a board. Mind you this was engraved in 1832. I immediately pulled out 1851 Tallis comparative of western hemisphere features and saw that lake Michigan is shown in its true curved form.
Why was this? What happened in the intervening years that begot this change? Were better survey techniques developed? Was the Carey & Lea comparative based on old data? If there was another survey, why, who commissioned it, and who financed it?
I did a little reading but didn’t find any satisfying answers. If you know, please tell me in the comments.
© Peter Roehrich, 2015