Sunday, October 02, 2016

Century-old view of the Earth

     Joh. Georg Rothaug. Vaterländischer Geographischer Schulatlas (ca. 1913) Authorised by the Imperial-Royal Ministry for Culture and Education in December 1912. The maps show the pre-World War 1 boundaries, the aerial views were taken from balloons. Part one is a general introduction to maps and geography, part two is a series of maps beginning with Austria, part 3 is an appendix showing the “principal races” of the world. There’s also a diagram of the planetary system (no Pluto) and of the starry sky as seen from the median latitude of Austria-Hungary.
     The binding is falling apart, many of the pages are loose, and a Birnecker Gottfried has written his name in several places. A very well-used volume, no doubt serving as reference work even after the Empire collapsed.
The colour printing is outstanding, the maps are very well drawn. Comparison with modern maps shows that in 1912 railways still mattered more than roads. A fascinating look at how Austria saw itself 100 years ago. ***

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