Category Archives: History
Williams & Heintz Map Corporation announced it was removing the seemingly superfluous “s” from its name, thereby becoming “William Heintz Map”. It admitted that it had long been fighting a “losing battle” against people who didn’t understand why the extra ‘s’ was there, and it had finally decided to “give up”. The ampersand was also removed because so many people thought that the company was just named after the past President, William Heintz.
The map printer acquired its name when they moved to 8119 Central Ave. in Capitol Heights, Maryland and incorporated on July 1, 1959 as Williams & Heintz Map Corporation. However, evidence suggested that Mr Williams left the business sometime in the 1940s. The current owners if this family business are are 4th generation and never met Mr. Williams.
Much of this article was shamelessly copied from an earlier article.
- In 1921, the Williams-Webb Company, Inc. was incorporated in Washington, D. C. The Corporation’s main office was located at 1702-1704 “F” Street, N. W.
- The Williams-Webb Co. Inc. Changed its name to Williams & Heintz Co. Inc. in 1927.
- From 1930 to 1958: W & H located at 220 Eye St., NE, Washington D.C., near Union Station.
- The company changed its name to the Williams & Heintz Lithographic Corporation in 1951.
- Williams & Heintz Lithographic Corp. built the current operating facility in Maryland and moved into it in 1958.
- Williams & Heintz Lithographic Corp. was disbanded in Washington D. C., and incorporated in Maryland on July 1, 1959 as Williams & Heintz Map Corporation.
2015 is the United Nations International Year of Soils
The 68th UN General Assembly declared 2015 the International Year of Soils (IYS 2015). In honor of this, here are two soil maps from the Williams & Heintz Map Vault.
Why International Year of Soils?
Soils are a finite natural resource and are nonrenewable on a human time scale. Soils are the foundation for food, animal feed, fuel and natural fiber production, the supply of clean water, nutrient cycling and a range of ecosystem functions. The area of fertile soils covering the world’s surface is limited and increasingly subject to degradation, poor management and loss to urbanization. Increased awareness of the life-supporting functions of soil is called for if this trend is to be reversed and so enable the levels of food production necessary to meet the demands of population levels predicted for 2050. Soil Science Society of America
The FAO/UNESCO Soil Map of the World has published soil maps of continents and large regions at 1:5 000 000 scale. They would look great as print maps! 😉
My cat, Sneazer Agustus, is enjoying perusing the 2006 Antique Style World Map. The map was published by American Map Corporation, printed by Williams & Heintz on 80 lb. Aged Parchtone.
In early cartography, map makers used mythical beasts and said, “Here be Dragons,” when they came to a part of the world that was a mystery. They filled the page with fantastic beasts. Maybe even cats? Here be Cats!
Another reason why map makers may leave information off maps is because they do not wish to make a political statement with their cartography. They may go out of their way to make the map so that the name or boundary is not included, or is not legible, to stay out of the conflict. “What’s in a name? that which we call a rose, by any other name would smell as sweet.”
This beautiful map, on parchment like paper, is out of print but a quick google search of “2006 antique style world map” will take you to several sources to purchase. Go ahead, we’ll print more! 😉
Over on our facebook page, Williams & Heintz has a new “like”, and it came with the most Awesome link! Jack Kittle, of Decatur, Georgia, found 1927-1930 topographic maps of Atlanta. Our name is listed in the lower right hand corner. Here is the link, that will take you to the Digital Gallery at Emory University. They have 75 pages of the City of Atlanta tax plat maps that we printed when my great grandfather first got into the map printing business.
Company lore has it that, one of our original jobs as a map company was engraving, (copper plate), and printing, (stone lithography), tax plats for cities, of which Atlanta was one. Without accurate maps, the cities were losing revenue, because they didn’t know who to send the bill to.
Jack Says, “I first ran into copies of these maps at the DeKalb History Center. Their copies are from the DeKalb County Planning Department. New developments – streets and buildings – were carefully added in black ink until sometime in the 1950s. This fits the tax plat scenario. Note that this usage was not in the City of Atlanta, rather in the area to the east.”
International Women’s day is March 8 and March is Women’s History Month – What Role Have Women Played in the History of Mapmaking?
Many women’s organizations and governments around the world observe International Women’s Day annually on March 8th. The United States designates the whole month of March as Women’s History Month. The role of women in the history of mapmaking reminds us to celebrate the accomplishments of women and girls throughout history, and the need to keep working to ensure that women’s equality is gained and maintained in all aspects of life, all over the map.
Judith Tyner, Professor Emerita of Geography, California State University, Long Beach, has researched and shared a lot of the history of women in cartography. She says that Women have played many roles in the history of cartography. There are the usual assumptions, marginal activities, traditional woman’s roles of piece work that could be done at home: coloring maps, map folding, and stitching atlases. In the 19th century, women taught geography, maps, and “the use of the globes” to privileged young ladies. The usual way that women would become involved in mapmaking business, was through family. The map trades, printing, and engraving have traditionally been family businesses.
But when you examine maps for the names of engravers, publishers and printers, you discover that women have been involved in cartography from the early days of mapping. Women were publishers, map sellers, cartographers, drafters, editors, engravers, globemakers, printers, colorists, folders, stitchers, teachers of map reading and mapmaking, cartographic historians, map librarians, and patrons of cartography!
“By the beginning of the twentieth century, the identities of cartographers and map traders had become even more obscure. Large cartographic firms such as Rand McNally and Hammond formed and began using wax engraving and lithography techniques; map engravers and compilers no longer signed their maps. As companies grew, few retained records… Over time old records were destroyed in the name of efficiency.”
This fits with what I have recently learned about Williams & Heintz, from my cousin Jeanette Schuder, about my Great Aunt Ruth, Born Ruth Lillian Heintz (1913 – 2011)
“Her father co-owned the William and Heintz Company, a lithographic business in DC. She worked for her dad’s company as a topographical engineer and she drew maps of Bakersfield, California and other new cities. She also worked for the Geological Survey and drew the original maps of the unmapped territory of the Yukon.”
Ruth was married August 22, 1936, so I figure that her work as a mapmaker was in the early 1930s. A quick google search for “Bakersfield CA map 1930s” yields these maps, from the University of Texas Libraries, that may be some of the maps that she worked on.
Even before the second World War, women were encouraged to work as cartographers and cartographic drafters. During the war, they were hired to replace the men, due to the wartime demand for maps. Government agencies in the U. S. were hiring women because they recognized that our maps were out of date and had insufficient coverage. Women were preferred for drafting, computing and photogrametry. Collections were scattered. Map librarians played an important role in the collection and distribution of maps for the war effort.
Women did not give up cartography after the war. They were successful, and continued to take advantage of trainings at universities, and job opportunities. Marie Tharp was encouraged to study geology and drafting, she made important contributions to mapping. You can read about them in Honoring Marie Tharp, Oceanographic Cartographer, for International Women’s Day
Today, women work in all aspects of the mapping industry, from GIS to map printing. Since World War II, we have seen the greatest rise in the number of women involved in the field. However, continued vigilance and action is still necessary to ensure that women’s equality is gained and maintained.
Mary Beth Smith, of “Girls Who Print” said, in response to an example of blatant discrimination in the work place today,
” Lets work together. Let the ignorant know that their behavior is neither admired nor tolerated. Show your spouses, your daughters, your sons, and everyone in your orbit your conviction that this is unacceptable behavior. Isn’t it time we stopped acting like this doesn’t happen? Do we not WANT young people and women to bring their gifts, talents, training and expertise to an industry sorely in need of a fresh approach?”
Tyner, Judith, “The Hidden Cartographers: Women in Mapmaking,” Mercator’s World, volume 2, number 6, November/December 1997, pp. 46-51.
Tyner, Judith, “Millie the Mapper and Beyond: The Role of Women in Cartography Since World War II,” Meridian – Map and Geography Round Table of the American Library Association No. 15 1999 pp23-28.
How Do You Map the Ocean Floor? A review of the book, Soundings: The Story of the Remarkable Woman Who Mapped the Ocean Floor, by Hali Felt
Cartographers were putting the depths of the ocean on the map long before Google Street View provided their very first underwater panoramic images of the Great Barrier Reef, and the Apple map app shipwreck. The book, Soundings: The Story of the Remarkable Woman Who Mapped the Ocean Floor, by Hali Felt, tells the story. If you are interested in exploring the history of women in science, and the changes in scientific thought over the last century, then this book is worthy of your time. Hali Felt brings Marie Tharp and her partner, Bruce Heezen to life. The biography paints a picture of a unique and remarkable person, how she came to be, and her accomplishments before the digital age, when a woman was not invited, or acknowledged, in the scientific community.
Marie Tharp’s physiographic diagrams of the ocean floor, illustrated to the world, the theories of plate tectonics and continental drift. The story involves a lot of politics and drama in the scientific community. It makes me glad that I decided to go into the family map printing business, instead of academia. I loved Soundings: The Story of the Remarkable Woman Who Mapped the Ocean Floor, Hali Felt’s biography of Marie Tharp, and not just because she wrote about Williams & Heintz Map Corp. My dad used to talk about Marie’s visits to have us print her maps. He described her as “quite a character”, a unique and colorful individual, bubbling over with personality. It was a joy to find Williams & Heintz, my dad, and grandfather mentioned in the pages.
In the fall of 1961 the Geological society of America published Marie and Bruce’s second physiographic diagram. This diagram showed the South Atlantic Ocean, included the Caribbean and Scotia seas, and the eastern margin of the South Pacific Ocean. Marie spent four years (from 1957, when she finished the North Atlantic, until 1961) drawing the floors of these oceans, which had never been done before; it took her only ten months to re-create the land masses surrounding the oceans, all of which had been well documented before. When preparing these diagrams, Marie followed the same method she’d used when drawing the North Atlantic: plotting profiles, examining adjacent tracks for trends and regional characteristics, sketching the relief of the terrain along the profiles, and filling in blank areas by extrapolating and interpolating.
In July 1961, while the physiographic diagram of the South Atlantic Ocean was in the process of being printed at the William and Heintz Map Corporation in Washington, D.C., Marie wrote three letters to Bruce. These letters show how deeply invested she was in what happened to her work when she was finished drawing. After making a trip to D.C. to meet with the printers, she went to Ohio, where her brother had carried on at the farm in Bellefontaine after their father’s death.
“Dear Bruce,” she wrote on July 3, “I thought I would write you a letter about my adventures in Washington with the thought that it might save on your telephone bill.” Bruce had just returned from Russia, a guest of the Academy of Sciences, and Marie wrote that she had waited until she was sure he was “back safe and sound.”
“I left Piermont Monday, June 19 about 5:30 p.m. and arrived at Williams & Heintz next day about 1 p.m.,” she wrote, “having spent the night at a Mobil somewhere between Phila. and Baltimore. Fortunately, both Mr. Heintz & his son were there-the son showed me all around the plant-really a wonderful setup.” On her tour, Marie got to see printing presses and a camera as “big as a room,” none of which would be used on her map because it was, she repeatedly mentioned to Bruce, “too big.”
“I didn’t see the actual outfits they did use on our map-but there was also a huge pie-shaped vat that they pour the colored inks in & whirl around to make the color proofs.”
The printers, Marie told Bruce, had made up a blue-ink print of the South Atlantic map for her to review. All the ocean floor’s texture had been transferred to a metal plate in order to make a negative, but Marie deemed the print made from it too pale-a disappointing result from four years of work. So she retouched” the whole thing, took a “steel point which must have been used for 20 years or so” and etched the grooves deeper, thousands of miniature valleys in which blue ink would pool instead of water. She fixed a mistake this way, too. The Shag Rocks, a group of islands west of the Falkland Islands, were blurry, and the printer “offered to splice a piece in the negative and I expect they could have done it perfectly,” she wrote. “But I went ahead, scratching in more lines on the negative & the next day still scratching.”
There were also, she said, some mistakes with the markings of degrees along the border and concerning the legend she “suggested that Columbia University be set in smaller type.” The big black Old English typeface “seemed a little overpowering,” so they reduced it by about one-third. “It looked much better.” And then there was the matter of the words Lamont Geological Observatory. “I also wish I had suggested that [they] be moved down a V8 inch from our names-just for proportion’s sake-but I didn’t.”
The map’s contrast worried her the most. “I do hope you will give this matter of contrast your particular attention. I should be crushed to death if it is a washed out print … honest to goodness it’s worth another trip to Washington to see the contrast of the print before a color proof is made … I guess this is enuff for now.” She signed off with the words, “Love Marie.”
Her second letter, dated July 25, 1961, and sent from Bellefontaine, begins much like the first: she is worried about Bruce’s phone bill reaching “astronomical proportions.” She is “flabbergasted” to hear that the new oceanography building on the Lamont campus is almost done. “Excuse this writing but my hand is stiff from painting. I am doing the inside hall-changing dark doors to yellow. On rainy days I paint inside & when it quits raining for two days in a row I do windows outdoors.” There follows some discussion of the lakes in the Andes. “They should not be solid blue or green or edged in green. If they do turn out any of the above ways I think the best thing would be to call up Mr. Heintz and have his boy paint out the color overlay & print the damn lakes in yellow.”
The paragraphs that follow all use the word also: “I also hope you like.” “I should also like to remind you.” “Also I should like to know.” “Also if this guy.” “I am also happy to hear your little model is working out so well” -she was referring here to a globe of the world’s ocean floors with raised relief that Bruce was trying to make. “Have you yet gotten a hold of some dental wax or softer material for final details? … Somehow I would like to be back helping you. It’s very lonely here. Well, keep me posted & write to me. Love Marie.”
Marie never mentioned, in her letters from July 1961, all the new features that she had exposed for the first time in her map of the South Atlantic. What would she have said anyway? Also I should like to point out that we showed the Equatorial Mid-Ocean Canyon, which debauches into the Pernambuco Abyssal Plain, for the first time? Also I should like to note that we showed the Ameghino Canyon, off the coast of Argentina, and the submarine canyon of the Orange River, off the coast of South Africa? Also I should like to remind you that we discovered the Romanche and Chain fracture zones? Bruce didn’t need to know these things, but in order to know the importance of her work, we do.
I wrote previously about Marie Tharp here.
Soundings: The Story of the Remarkable Woman Who Mapped the Ocean Floor
What’s in a name? That which we call a rose, by any other name, would smell as sweet. But what about that place on the map?
In Shakespeare’s play, Juliet asks Romeo,
“What’s in a name? that which we call a rose
By any other name would smell as sweet.”
But what about that place on the map? Place names are often contested. For example, the Persian Gulf is a name that has been in use for a long time. Arabian Gulf is a relatively new name for the same place, that some Iranians object to.
The Sea of Japan is most commonly used to identify the body of water between Japan and the Korean Peninsula and China. The Republic of Korea would prefer that it was called the East Sea.
Map makers, who do not wish to make a political statement with their cartography, will often go out of their way to make the map so that the name or boundary is not included, or is not legible, to stay out of the conflict. When the issue came to our attention, we dug back into the Map Vault at Williams & Heintz to see if we could find any older map, to see what was on it. Sure enough, this Tectonic Map of China and Mongolia, that we printed for the Geological Society of America, in 1974 has the name of the sea conveniently omitted.
Now, I firmly believe that some old place names are better changed: place names that are racist, or sexist would smell much sweeter without an offensive name. My view of political names is, “a rose would smell as sweet.”
What do you think?
Beginning in the 1950’s and 60’s Williams & Heintz Map specialized in making, and printing geologic maps. For advertisement, we ran a Geologic Quiz Series in a publication for geologists called the GEOTIMES. This is the First one.
Quality and service; that was valuable back then too.
Heinrich Berann is considered the father of the modern panoramic map.
In the 1960s, Heinrich Berann painted a series of posters commissioned by the United States National Park Service. Greater Yellowstone was one of these that was printed by Williams & Heintz.
At Williams & Heintz, the story has it that, the head of publications for the National Park Service, Vincent Gleason, actually went up in a small plane with Berann. They flew around Yellowstone, as Berann made the sketches that became the basis of his painting.
The color separations for printing where made from the actual painting itself, at Mueller Color Plate, in Minneapolis, on a process camera.
The posters are available at the US Government Bookstore.
Matthias Troyer, a grandson of H.C. Berann, maintains a website of Berann’s work.