Bird's-eye View of the City of Akron, Summit County, Ohio, 1870


This panoramic map shows Akron, Ohio, as it appeared in 1870. The key at the bottom indicates points of interest, including the courthouse, high school, county jail, railroad, and numerous churches. Illustrations depict important buildings, including the academy of music, Masonic temple, knife works, and two large factories for making mowers and reapers. 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, they 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.

Last updated: April 13, 2012