Bird’s Eye View of Garfield, New Jersey, 1909


This panoramic map shows a view of Garfield, New Jersey, as it appeared in 1909. Garfield was originally known as East Passaic, but later was named in honor of U.S. President James Garfield. The map shows the town along the banks of the Passaic and Saddle rivers, with several bridges crossing the water. Street names in the town are visible, as well as a railway, labeled “Erie Railroad.” In the lower left corner of the map are five inset images, showing greater detail of several buildings: “Borough Hall,” “First Reformed Church,” Presbyterian Church,” and Garfield’s public schools, “Belmont School,” and “School No. 1.” Five more inset images are at the top of the map, featuring additional structures: a factory for the Passaic & Garfield Construction company (manufacturer of ornamental and building cement blocks); the John Karl real estate office (and the adjacent building, John Karl Plumbing); the large factory compound of the Hammerschlag Manufacturing Company; the Lotsey Toth Plaudersville Cafe; and the Garfield Worsted Mills. Numerous factory and industrial buildings can be seen on the map. The panoramic map was a cartographic form in popular use to depict U.S. and Canadian cities and towns in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. Also known as bird’s-eye views or perspective maps, these works are representations of cities portrayed as if viewed from above at an oblique angle. Not generally drawn to scale, they show street patterns, individual buildings, and major landscape features in perspective. This map is by Thaddeus Mortimer Fowler (1842–1922), one of the most prolific makers of panoramic maps. Fowler was born in Lowell, Massachusetts, and fought and was wounded in the American Civil War. After working for an uncle who was a photographer, in 1870 he established his own panoramic map firm. Over the course of a long career, Fowler made panoramic maps of cities in 21 states and parts of Canada.

Last updated: March 3, 2016