Friday, 14 October 2011

Old maps - the expedition

My expedition to retrieve some old National Geographic maps  from my parents' place proved to be an epic fail!

Most of the older magazines my parents collected have been packed away and stored under their house. It would be like searching for a needle in a haystack, there is that much crapola under there. I wasn't mentally prepared nor was I dressed appropriately to wade through all their hoarded stuff.

The only thing I could find in their bookshelves was a few more recent maps from the late 70s.

Here I was expecting to find pristine maps from the 20s and 30s ( I was particularly hoping to find a map of deepest, darkest Africa) and the best I could find was a map of Australia in 1979 and duplicate maps of British Columbia and The Grand Canyon.

1979 National Geographic Magazine map of Australia.
Look how they've treated Tasmania!
They did have a 1957 National Geographic world map but it was too tattered and well-used to be framed. You can buy them on eBay for a relatively small sum here. And for a laugh check out how much my map of Australia is worth here.

You should've seen how disappointed I snobbery at its finest.

Oh well, the Australian map is quite 'frameable' and Son #1 has expressed an interest in it, so it could be a great piece for his room. For a nine year old, 1979 seems positively ancient!


  1. Back in 1979, Tasmania was that high up the east coast.

    Continental shifts take years. 1979 was a long time ago.

    That map's vintage gold!

  2. and I am sure they have made Victoria deliberately small. Must be made by Queenslanders.

    By the way have just ordered some map wallpaper from the UK for a bunk room I am doing. Their website says 'we cannot ship this outside the UK' but I am hoping to slip through their systems, if they have any.

    Love maps of all kinds. Esp the ones from the 70s where the countries were coloured and USSR looked really big.


  3. love it. absolutely ancient - yet still in such good nic!
    awesome find - and free.
    poor Tassie - no wonder they've always had a chip on their shoulder.
    cheryl xox.

  4. The last comment made me laugh..hehe, I hear you there!

    What a great map, even though you did find the original ones you were looking for.

    Ooh, I wonder if we are on the map?? Bungendore just near Canberra.

    Bye for now, Tam x

  5. Jane, Victoria is particularly small! And I can't vouch that a Queenslander wasn't behind that map. Map wallpaper for a bunk room sounds really cool - I hope you get it. xx

    Cheryl, I guess 1979 is pretty ancient. It was the year that My Sharona was a hit after all! xx

  6. Tam, I just looked it up for you. Yep Bungendore made it on the map! xx

  7. 1979 is the olden days ladies, or so I am told by short people. I believe that was the year of Meatloaf and Grease and Saturday night Fever. A memorable vintage indeed!

  8. Annie, how cool. My map is positively disco! xx

  9. Oh how disappointing for you. Oh well I am sure your son will enjoy it! xx

  10. What a shame you couldn't find any to frame, although the Australian map would be great.

    I found a Nat Geo map of The Balkans from 1962 amongst my daughters jun...I mean "artwork" from kindy. It's a bit tatty and covered in scribl...drawing on the back.
    Also have a British Columbia - is yours 1992?

  11. Oh yes, 1979, i was 4 & on my first of many (bless my travel hungry parents) world trips off that map of Australia. My father has an enormous map, must be 6' wide, of the whole wide world, i want it!! It still has USSR, love Posie

  12. I know that I am conforming to type here now, Bris, but I have to say that a 'map of Australia' used to mean something completely different over here when I was a youth. Sorry - it had to be said (but not explained).

  13. Tom Stephenson, do you mean 'Map of Tasmania' or have things changed more than I realise?

  14. I think its a great map.Hope you take approriate digging gear next time.Id love to have a fossic myself lol

  15. Ooh you don't think the 1930's tattered and well worn one would look good in a frame? Tattered is good. Unless it's got a hulking great hole in the centre of it or half of it is missing! Yes dressing for the search is very important. You've got to be suitably attired and in the right frame of mind to get into it. Another time perhaps? A-M xx

  16. Kathryn, I think we have the same map!!

    And Tom, 'our old house' is right. Map of Australia and Map of Tasmania are two different things! Unless things are different in your part of the world...then lucky you!

    A-M I haven't given up just yet...I'd be happy with 1930s tatty...just need to find it.



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