Bird's Eye View of the City of Augusta, Maine, 1878


This panoramic map shows Augusta, Maine, as it appeared in 1878. Augusta has been the capital of Maine since 1827; the city is bisected by the Kennebec River. Steamboats and large sailing vessels are seen traveling on the river. An arrow drawn in the river indicates the flow of the water. On the far shore, a train runs along the Maine Central Railroad line. Further upstream, a railroad bridge and a covered bridge for pedestrians and horse-drawn carriages cross the water, connecting the two sides of the city. The Edwards Dam (built in 1837 and demolished in 1999) is also upstream. An index at the bottom of the map indicates various points of interest, including the state capitol building, court house, schools, jail, U.S. arsenal, cemetery, churches, railroad depot, railroad roundhouse and machine shop, and industry such as the gas works, tool works, cotton mill, machine shop, several saw mills, and numerous factories. Much of the industry for the city is located along the Kennebec River. The panoramic map was a cartographic form popularly used 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 maps 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 Albert Ruger (1829–99), the first American to achieve success as a panoramic artist. Born in Prussia, Ruger immigrated to the United States and worked initially as a mason. While serving with the Ohio Volunteers during the Civil War, he drew views of Union campsites. After the war, Ruger settled in Battle Creek, Michigan, where he began his panoramic mapping career by sketching Michigan cities. In the late 1860s, Ruger formed a partnership with J.J. Stoner of Madison, Wisconsin, and together they published numerous city panoramas.

Date Created

Subject Date

Publication Information

J. J. Stoner, Madison, Wisconsin


Title in Original Language

Bird's eye view of the city of Augusta, Maine, 1878

Type of Item

Physical Description

1 map : color ;  51 x 76 centimeters

Last updated: March 30, 2016