Stanford's Library map of Australasia
Johnston, A. Keith & Stanford, Edward
Date of Creation:
Stanford and Johnston's large map of Australasia, shows the 'relative positions of Australia and the other British possessions’. It extends to east of the Sunda Islands, the south-west Pacific Islands, New Zealand and Australia. Australia has five states, some counties, towns, roads, railways, tracks, submarine telegraph lines, drainage and unsurveyed rivers, routes of explorers with dates and notes, including on vegetation.
Johnston's “first work of importance was the ‘National Atlas’, 1843, which represented five years' work; most of its forty-five maps were drawn by Johnston himself. His most important work was the ‘Physical Atlas’, 1848, intended originally as a version of Heinrich Berghaus's, but in fact an independent work. He collected much of the material for the ‘Atlas’ in Germany and August Petermann came to Edinburgh to help with the work. Johnston knew he could expect no financial profit from the ‘Physical Atlas’, since physical geography was scarcely taught in Britain at this date. Among his other works a map of health and disease showed the influence of German thematic cartography and won the commendation of the medical profession. The use of lithography allowed the Johnstons to produce cheap educational and popular maps and atlases, through which Johnston hoped to establish the same respect for geography in Britain as it commanded in Germany. His multiple-sheet wall maps were of high quality and widely used in schools and other public institutions. ‘The Royal Atlas’, 1861, became the firm's standard. Honours were heaped upon Johnston from an early date in recognition of his services to geography: he was geographer at Edinburgh in ordinary to the queen, fellow of the Royal Society of Edinburgh, honorary doctor of the University of Edinburgh, and medallist, honorand, or member of most of the world's important geographical societies. In 1851, he was awarded a medal by the London exhibition for his globe, the first to show the geology, meteorology, and hydrography of the earth. He was honorary secretary and one of the founders of the Scottish Meteorological Society” (Elizabeth Baigent for DNB).
In 1857, “Stanford founded Stanford's Geographical Establishment, employing Saunders and A. K. Johnston the elder to prepare and engrave his 'library maps': 'Europe', 1858, 'London and its environs', 1862, and others… Stanford acquired the bookselling business of C. H. Lawin 1860, the plates and stock of the map maker John Arrowsmith in 1874, and Staunton & Son (stationers) in 1877, so that by 1881 he employed eighty-seven people; his business premises remained at 6 Charing Cross Road. Illness obliged him gradually to relinquish active control of his firm to his son Edward. His last major work was ‘Stanford's London Atlas of Universal Geography … Folio Edition’, dedicated to Queen Victoria (1887), a revised, expanded, and lithographed version of the 'London Atlas of John Arrowsmith'” (DNB).