Tagged: Petermann’s Geographische Mitteilungen

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Unveiling Map Making: A Cartographer’s Account

On Friday, May 4, 1906, Bruno Domann left his desk at the Perthes publishing house in Gotha carrying travel accounts, maps and instruments. However, he did not take the materials home in order to finish maps for the new printing run of the Stieler’s Hand-Atlas or Petermann’s Geographische Mittheilungen. Domann was on his way to the inn Zum Schützen, where...

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Disease Maps and Policy: The Case of the ‘Manchurian Plague’

In the autumn of 1910, the first reports appeared in the local press in Manchuria, a region in the Northeast of China, that there had been cases of a deadly pneumonic plague in the city of Harbin. The fight against this disease, which would become known as the “Manchurian plague,” became in many ways a precedent for the Chinese government,...

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Perthes and Heinrich Barth: Publishing (as) a German Success Story – Part II

One of the most important legacies of August Petermann was undoubtedly his founding and editorship of the Mittheilungen aus Justus Perthes’ Geographischer Anstalt (later Petermann’s Geographische Mittheilungen, or PGM) in 1855, a scientific and cartographical journal that was widely received by expert communities as well as by an interested general public. Given its wide distribution and general acclaim, the journal...

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Mapping a Fantasy: The Suez Canal Project in 1855

Part map and part perspective view, the “Vue panoramatique” depicts a geopolitical fantasy in the year 1855: the construction of the Suez Canal was to start only four years later, and it would take another decade until the first ships were seen crossing the desert. In 1855, the project of the Suez Canal was still the subject of fierce quarrels....

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Perthes and Heinrich Barth: Inter-European Networks At Play – Part I

Often this blog has alluded to the networks of the Justus Perthes Publishing House, which were nurtured and maintained by its leading spokesmen during the nineteenth and early twentieth century. August Petermann, a central figure in the history of the company and its leading cartographer from 1854 to 1878, fostered, systematized and institutionalized much of the global outreach of the...

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Cartographies of Violence

An Exploration Route Map of Southeast Asia In the autumn of 1908 Dr Robert Brunhuber, a journalist and academic from Cologne, and his companion Karl Schmitz, set out from Rangoon. Their aim was to explore the remote upper reaches of the Salween River. Their ill-fated attempt resulted in remarkable cartographic texts, which reveal how European travellers’ input was elevated by...

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