MapNots

The focus of this blog post is maps that are not maps. Keep an eye out because these MapNots can sometimes turn up in the strangest places.


You’ll find them decorating post cards, souvenir highway decals, ink blotters, postage stamps, fruit labels, magazine ads, place mats, matchbook covers, book jackets and endpapers, calendars, posters and a myriad of other paper collectibles.


Left: Mint, never-hinged se-tenant block of four stamps issued by the Sovereign Military Order of Malta in 2002.

Right: Original 1889 Arbuckle Bros. Coffee Company trade card with map of Greenland and artwork showing penguins, an ice-bound sailing ship, and a harpoon-wielding Inuit hunting walrus.



But it doesn’t stop there. If you'd like to wear a map, you can show off your favorite locale or tourist destination with tee shirts sold in souvenir shops or you can troll online offerings for one of the snappy Tyvek "Wearin' the World Map Jackets," once sold by Interarts, Ltd. of Cambridge, Massachusetts.


Other distributors carry caps, totes, luggage labels, desk pads and picture frames decorated with maps. And there are pillows, shower curtains, umbrellas, key chains and a host of other products, including – souvenir ashtrays, silk scarves, lamp shades… the list is endless. all with maps.



Left: Handsome placemat road map of the Hawaiian island of Kauai, published by Sheraton Hotels circa 1987.

Right: Original 1960 Ocean Drive road map postcard in excellent, unposted condition.



And a company called New England Cartographics in North Amherst, Massachusetts offers Geolopes

-- a line of envelopes and stationery recycled from outdated government surplus topographic maps.


There are antique powder horns and works of scrimshaw that have been decorated with maps, and a Cathaginian coin has come to light which shows a map of the New World from before the time of Columbus.


We're including a few pictures as a representative sampling of maps that are not strictly maps. If you have some other examples you’d like to share, you are welcome to reach us via our contact page or on any of our social media accounts.


Original 1953 scalloped-edge placemat Chicken in the Rough restaurant locator map of the United States.



In response to such a cascade of interest in these MapNots, we've also created a platform where gung-ho enthusiasts of map memorabilia in their incredible variety can share their stories and post photos:

https://www.facebook.com/groups/mapmemorabilia



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