James Monteith: Cartographer, Educator, and Master of the Margins
James Monteith (1831–1890) was a leading figure in American geography education in the late nineteenth century, but his career has been largely forgotten and his contribution to cartography has been underappreciated. Monteith’s maps and geography textbooks were targeted at the general reader, but included innovative ways to highlight comparative spatial relationships. Much of the text in Monteith’s books is typical of that found in other works of the period, but his geography volumes included unique illustrations to help the reader visualize terrain on a continental scale and place individual maps in a global context. Monteith produced fairly pedestrian maps in his books but surrounded them with remarkable symbology and amplifying data that ought perhaps to earn him the title “master of the margins.”
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