There are quite a few methods to figuring out the date a road map was originally printed. The most obvious is if it is printed on the cover. Beyond that you may need to use your detective skills. Sometimes the maker uses Roman numerals to mark the date usually in the key or margin. In other instances, makers use a special code.
Some other clues include:
- Using the census & Population figures
- Roads under construction or finished
- Is the Interstate Highway System present
- Missing towns, roads, or countries
The Rand McNally & H.M. Gousha map codes are here in our blog post and don't forget to check out our helpful video on the subject.
How do I flatten a folded map to frame it?
It's easy and takes just a few minutes!
Our YouTube audience has used this technique on a variety of items from maps and posters to diplomas with success.
Flattening a map or poster for framing is a simple process:
1. Open up the map on a flat surface.
2. Take a damp paper towel and lightly wet the folds. (This relaxes the paper fibers.)
3. Using a blank piece of paper as an interleaving sheet so the iron doesn't come into direct contact with your map, iron the folds.
Iron: Bienfang / Seal Sealector II Tacking Iron, with Adjustable Heat Settings for Mounting Prints (which is currently unavailable)
This is a comparable iron: O'SKOOL LCD Display Veneer Edge Banding Sealing Iron
I wouldn’t laminate a valuable map, because the process is irreversible and would have a severe impact on the map’s value.
Lower value maps, however, are sometimes laminated, especially if they are going to be handled, such as in a classroom, where a teacher might pass them around for students to get a closer look, or in a presentation, where someone might wish to mark them to show certain features, such as boundary changes, troop movements, or travels.
If you wish to frame your map, we have a helpful video as well as a blog post with tips to help you keep your map safe in the process.
What type of glue should be used to mount map paper to the linen?
Our friend Christine, at Green Dragon Bindery says the best results are obtained by using wheat paste and making sure both the paper map and the linen are slightly damp. Then dry them between blotter paper, under weight.
Green Dragon Bindery in located in Shrewsbury, Massachusetts, and I've been relying on them for more than 30 years to handle any antique map repair and restoration work I may need.