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Fire Insurance Maps, Their History and Applications

by Diane Oswald


Fire Insurance Maps,Their History and Applications

Fire insurance maps are the most detailed historical records of the urban landscape. From 1790 to 1961, nearly every U.S. town and city with populations of 2,000 or more, had been surveyed. During this timeframe, over 13,000 U.S. cities were mapped by fire insurance map publishers. Shown on these maps, sometimes in great detail, are virtually every building, man-made structure and business standing at the time the survey was made.

Initially, the maps were known only to a handful of fire insurance underwriters. But by 1937, practically every insurance company in the country relied on the maps to balance the financial risks of the properties that they insured. Today, although the uses for fire insurance maps have grown far beyond their original purpose, few people are aware of the wide range of applications for which they are being used.

Environmental assessment, architectural renovation and reconstruction, and corporate research are but a few of the uses drawing professionals and hobbyists to the pages of these intriguing maps.

While the legacy of the maps is quickly becoming the diversity of applications for which they can be used, the history of the maps and those who made them is one of the best-kept cartographic secrets. Fire Insurance Maps, Their History and Applications is an in-depth look at these cartographic treasures and the industry behind them.

"An absolutely charming little book illustrated with cartoons and maps."
Map Collector Publications

"Fire Insurance Maps, Their History and Applications is highly recommended for urban studies, cartography, American History, and architectural/urban renewal studies supplemental reading lists and library reference book collections. "
The Midewest Book Review

ISBN 0-9659698-0-0 Pages: 102 Size: 5.5" x 8.5"

Includes: 15 B&W Illustrations, Bibliography and Index

To order:
Send $11.95 for US orders (Includes postage) to
Lacewing Press, 15889 Woodlake Dr., College Station, TX 77845.

Lacewing Press - Home Page

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