The World, on Mercator's Projection


This world map is from the General Atlas of the World published by A & C Black in 1840. Adam Black founded his publishing company in Edinburgh in 1807. The firm dealt predominantly in maps and atlases for the rest of the 19th century. General Atlas of the World was published in successive editions up to 1898. The map is a good reflection of the cartographic knowledge of the world at the time it was made. The coastlines of the world had largely been explored, except for the polar regions. Hence the Antarctic is not depicted and details of the Arctic are incomplete. The interiors of central Asia, South America, the western United States, Australia, and especially Africa are largely speculative. The continents are outlined in different colors. Later editions of this map in Black's General Atlas of the World used solid colors to define the continents. George Aikman (1788‒1865), the engraver of the map, was a Scottish printer and engraver who also produced most of the illustrations for the seventh edition of the Encyclopaedia Britannica, also published by A & C Black. The firm was known for publishing Who's Who, Encyclopedia Britannica, with which it was associated until 1901, a series of popular travel guides (Black's Guides), and the novels of Sir Walter Scott.

Date Created

Subject Date

Publication Information

Adam and Charles Black, Edinburgh


Title in Original Language

The world, on Mercator's projection


Additional Subjects

Type of Item

Physical Description

1 map : hand colored ; 25 x 40 centimeters


  • Scale approximately 1:100,000,000

Last updated: May 2, 2017