Category Archives: Historical

Boston is 46 Percent Water

This is not a a paradigm-obliterating viral map. Boston is 46% water and this shows where it all is. Most of the water is offshore. Some of it is inland. But what if you don’t care where it all is? … Continue reading

Posted in Geography, Historical | 2 Comments

Life: The Boston Number

Ah, the satirical map. The other day we ran across this delightful 1911 map illustration by Paul Goold on the cover of Life magazine. A child, simultaneously having a healthy glow but looking rather sickly, and clearly being what we … Continue reading

Posted in Historical | Tagged , | 5 Comments

Happy birthday, Red Line

Do you live, work, or ever travel in the area between Harvard Square and Park Street? If so, you know a piece of the MBTA Red Line that celebrates its 100th birthday today! Yes, what is now the Red Line … Continue reading

Posted in Historical, Transportation | Tagged , , , | 10 Comments

Where to Buy Valentines in the 1800s

Your work day is done and you are getting ready to hop into your time machine to buy your sweetheart a valentine from 1800s Boston? Well, then we have just the thing for you! Courtesy of the Tufts Boston Streets … Continue reading

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Thirteen neighborhoods: one city

If there’s one thing everybody knows about neighborhood boundaries in Boston, it’s that nobody knows where they are. But they’ll tell you you’re wrong if you try to draw lines. That’s fair enough, really—any line drawn will divide neighbor from … Continue reading

Posted in Geography, Historical | Tagged , | 9 Comments

A new BPL home for the Leventhal Map Center

In case you missed it, this past weekend was the grand opening of a beautiful new public space for the Norman B. Leventhal Map Center in the Boston Public Library at Copley Square. You probably already know the Map Center, … Continue reading

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Cantabrigian Namesakes

In spite of the borderline comical duplication of street names in the Boston area (often within the city of Boston itself), the streets around here are named for many people, places, and things. They are names we encounter every day … Continue reading

Posted in Historical, Transportation | Tagged , , | 15 Comments

Map Pinning Boston

Bostonography provides us with the perfect forum for sharing bizarre, hybrid posts that randomly incorporate some of our favorite things. There is no doubt that soon enough, I will write something up on gummi candy maps of Roxbury… even if … Continue reading

Posted in General, Historical, Unusual Medium | Tagged , , , , , | 2 Comments

Conquering eagles and geese

I don’t want to take this site too far down the road of posting historical items that are interesting merely for being historical, but it’s worth mentioning a first that Boston can claim. In 1860, from a balloon tethered on … Continue reading

Posted in Historical, Photography | Tagged , , | 3 Comments

(Cartographic) Greetings from Boston

Ah, postcards. The travel microblogs of yore. For decades they were the preferred (if not only) method for sending updates and short messages from near and far to friends and family. If you ever find yourself bored in an antique … Continue reading

Posted in General, Geography, Historical, Transportation | Tagged , , , , | 16 Comments