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Ernest Dudley Chase: A Pictorial Map of Alaska, the 49th State

Map: USA8975
Cartographer: Ernest Dudley Chase
Title: A Pictorial Map of Alaska, the 49th State
Date: 1959
Published: Westwood, Mass.
Width: 28 inches / 72 cm
Height: 21 inches / 54 cm
Map ref: USA8975
Pictorial map of Alaska dotted with charming vignettes and fascinating historical notes describing the history, culture, and industry of the state. Drawn by Ernest Dudley Chase for the Alaska News Agency.

Of particular interest is the marking of "White Alice" stations. These enormous satellite dishes were built across Alaska during the Cold War to serve as an early warning system in the event of a Russian attack. With the invention of satellite technology in the 1980s, the White Alice stations became obsolete and were largely abandoned.

References are also made to the voyages of discovery of James Cook and Vitus Bering, as well as to Roald Amundsen's first attempt to fly over the North Pole in the hot air balloon Norge.

Laid down on archival linen. Printed colour. (SL) [USA8975]

Ernest Dudley Chase

Ernest Dudley Chase (1878-1966), born in Lowell, Massachusetts, is one of the best known and prolific pictorial mapmakers of the 20th century. He created more than 50 different maps in his very distinctive style. A perfectionist, he is noted for his attention to fine details and for his illustrated vignettes. The maps frequently dealt humorously with serious subjects while always reflecting his passionate patriotism and optimism.

Many of his maps focus on his native New England, but he also designed maps of the world, Europe, North and South America, and WWII-themed maps. He published all of his maps from his home in Winchester, Massachusetts, taking orders from customers through the post. In a delightfully personal touch, he would sometimes sign his maps in pencil before dispatching them to customers.