Monday, January 11, 2010

Paper Trails

I'm getting a head start on Spring cleaning by thinning out my map collection. I've been collecting for who knows how long and have an assortment from almost everywhere in the U.S. I never intended to start that way... it sort of happened. I bought out one flea market that has a bunch of old Phillips 66 maps from the early 60's (I fell for the line that it was cheaper to buy them all rather than the 3 or 4 I wanted), and have generally collected maps wherever I go. I'm not even sure how I got some of these (1977 Alabama? I was there once in 2004, though I'd like to go back). Maybe I bought out another collector? Sometimes, I will bid on e-bay for a group of maps just to have the one or two I really want.

Generally, I try to keep to Arkansas, Missouri and Illinois. I have a few gaps (Arkansas especially), but I'm trying to amass a collection of all 3 states dating from at least 1926, if not before. I try to keep to official state maps, but I have a few gas stations maps in the mix, too. 

But everything else has to go! I no longer have the space for them and I rarely look at them, though the 1948 Kansas map is interesting. So, out they go. I'm listing everything I have by date, location, publisher and condition. One problem though: I have over 400 maps to sort. About 1/4th of them, I'll probably keep, but I have waaaay too many maps. So it looks like I'm going to be a while.

Now the most interesting so far is a Standard Oil Travel Packet. Actually, there's two of them. One is from Clarance, MO (west of Hannibal) to New York for the World's Fair in 1962. The maps are in very good condition overall and includes a lot of gas station receipts. The second packet is a trip from Missouri to Florida in late 1965. No receipts this time, but there is a list of apartments plus the card from a real estate agent in Florida. Maybe these were "snowbirds" fleeing to Florida for the Winter?

Anyway, I've got to back to sorting & pricing. Plus I have to renew my Driver's License at the DMV today.


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