Persia, Afghanistan and Baluchistan


This colored map of Persia (present-day Iran), Afghanistan, and Baluchistan (in present-day Iran and Pakistan) was published by Chicago-based Rand McNally and Company, which became a major publisher of atlases, maps, globes, and travel guides in the United States in the second half of the 19th century. The map shows major cities and towns, mountains, rivers, deserts and other geographic features, and submarine telegraph cables in the Persian Gulf and Arabian Sea. Two distance scales are given, one in Persian fursakhs (also seen as parasangs or farsangs, an ancient Persian unit of distance, usually estimated at about 5.56 kilometers), and another in English statute miles. Longitude is provided both in degrees east of Greenwich, United Kingdom (top) and Washington, DC. (The map was published in 1881, before Greenwich was chosen as the universal prime meridian at the International Meridian Conference of 1884 in Washington). The map formerly belonged to the library of the U.S. Geological Society and is now in the collections of the Library of Congress.

Last updated: January 8, 2018