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Wednesday, August 21, 2013


It took quite a bit of PhotoShop tweaking and re-formatting to bring this incredible map of downtown Trenton as it looked nearly 150 years ago (actually 141). Due to the size of the map which covers the entire city of Trenton along with tantalizing views of the outlying more rural areas, I zeroed in on the downtown area. I have superimposed the colored view of Trenton's City Hall at State and Greene (Broad) Sts. as it appears in the original. This will allow the viewer to use it as a guide to the other streets in the scene.


SJBill said...

Good morning, Tom,

These map drawings were fairly popular in many cities back in that era. Notice there's not a lot of perspective. I'm pretty sure they took a standard road map as a drawing foundation, and with a simple T-square and triangle, they constructed a near 3-D isometric drawing by filling in details from street level.

It took a lot of talent from the illustrator draftsman. Those of the era also assisted in the design of factory machinery.

The technique and skill set is long gone.

Tom Glover said...

You will notice that they got the correct shape and form of both City Hall and the First Presbyterian Church. What I can't understand is how they managed to draw each and every building in what is apparently a very accurate representation of the city. My best explanation is that they took an early Matthew Brady type camera up in a balloon and snapped a number of photos and stitched them together, then used all those drafting tools to achieve perspective


Omad said...

Amazing I wonder how many of those buildings still exist; redone and updated.

Been away from the computer for a while but see you on my new Samsung Galaxy when you're on Facebook.

Thanx again for these wonderful articles.