Discovering New Amsterdam – 1600’s Cartography

One of the earliest maps of New Amsterdam is displayed right below this paragraph. The map displays a very basic illustration of lower Manhattan and was originally produced in 1664. The map was produced for James the Duke of York in order to lay down the first plans for the construction of a new Colony. Below the map we will examine and explore various cartographic attributes that make this map absolutely stunning. If you have any questions or comments please feel free to leave them below!

Quite an interesting early map of New Amsterdam we have displayed above! There is no doubt in my mind that this map was originally produced in 1664 as you can see a developmental and early illustration of lower Manhattan. The other aspects that overwhelmingly confirm the publication date is the spelling as well as the labellings throughout this map. Longe Isleland is obviously spelled quite different then it is today and to the left of the map you can clearly see the labeling “The Dukes Plan” “A Description of the Towne of Mannados-(Manhattan) or New Amsterdam”. Also if we look at the river on the opposite side of long island we see “Hudfrons River”, an old spelling of the Hudson River no doubt.

This map presents many clues to us about what New York City was like back in 1664. For example look at the plentiful amount of ships over in the East River. What this tells me is that many ships back in the mid 1600’s were landing and porting their ships along this area and were provided with easier access to the Atlantic ocean from side of New Amsterdam. Its even true today that more ships are in port along the East River, look at where the U.S. Naval Shipyard is… located on the East River for easy access to the Atlantic.

We can obviously see that lower Manhattan in this map is somewhat underdeveloped. From the looks of it, it seems there were only 3 avenues and mini neighborhoods scattered throughout Manhattan’s lower quarter. Beyond these locations we see sporadic illustrations possibly detailing the planning of new neighborhoods and or developing and clearing the land on the island. The lower quarter of New Amsterdam is drawn with a vertical line with 5 pointed dividers. This line on the map represents the fortifications built on the upper section of this colony. I have evidence to support this finding that this is a fortification by cross-referencing it with another map of New Amsterdam below:

Fortifactions new amsterdam numbered

Notice the 5 points in the image above, well there are also 5 points in the same location on the map above this one. So without a doubt I can tell you that they fortified this section of New Amsterdam.

Another aspect that stands out to me that are on both of these maps is the fortification located at the southern tip of lower Manhattan. This fort has been called so many different names throughout time. It has been called Fort Amsterdam, Fort George, Fort William Henry and much more. But as you can see on both maps It gave the dutch a strategic advantage to defending lower Manhattan. Not only did it provide an advantage with line of site scouting for invaders coming from the Atlantic or the Hudson, but it also contributed and gave the Dutch a strategic vantage point for their cannons to fire upon incoming ships as well a fall back location for the island as a whole. The 1st map displayed does not display the cannons in the 4 quadrants of the fort. The 2nd map displayed though overwhelmingly does.

fort amsterdam cannonsThese are just a few of the various historical aspects that we’ve explored and uncovered on these old vintage maps of New Amsterdam. Please feel free to subscribe to our blog on the right hand side! We will be continuing this exploration of History of New York City and we blog constantly. If you have any questions or comments about this post please feel free to comment below!


New York City Port History and Cartograph (1892) – YouTube Video

Hey everyone, just wanted to share with you guys our latest YouTube upload in which we explore and examine a vintage map of the Port of New York that was produced in 1892. The map displays lower Manhattan as well as the surrounding areas in a 3d birds-eye perspective in that we get to see building architecture, changes in landscape, vegetation and much more. Check out the video below and tell us what you think! Also don’t forget to subscribe to our YouTube channel and or our Historical NYC Blog!

New York City Vintage Map – Jigsaw Puzzles

Introducing vintage New York City map jigsaw puzzles! Yes thats right, we have jigsaw puzzles that display various map of New York City. The puzzles designed by us and are manufactured by Fuji Film which is a very popular and respected photo-imaging company. The puzzles come in two different sizes that include 8″x10″ (110 pieces) and 10″x14″ (252 pieces). The puzzles are composed of sturdy cardboard stock with mounted chipboard material. Also the puzzles come with a beautiful gift box with the puzzle image printed on the lid. The maps designed and displayed on these jigsaw puzzles range in publication date. Some maps were published as early as the 1600’s and range in publication date all the way to the early 1900’s. The maps also display the New York City area in two different formats, some are shown with a 3d birds-eye perspective, while others are an overhead 2d street view. Take a few minutes and browse the various New York City map jigsaw puzzles we have on our online store. Click on the images and links to take a closer look at the specific puzzles that spark your interest. If you have any questions please feel free to leave a comment below!

New York City Metropolitan Map (1912) – Musical Preview YouTube Video

Just wanted to share with you our latest YouTube upload displaying a vintage map of the New York City Metropolitan area that was produced in 1912. In the video we zoom in, pan, and fade various illustrative points of interest in the New York City area that are contained in this historical cartograph. The video also features classical folk music that creates a cinematic feel in regards to the examination of this vintage map. The video is about 2 1/2 minutes long and is well worth a watch. Tell us what you think by leaving a comment below!

Vintage New York City Map (1909) – Musical Preview

Hey guys just wanted to share a newly uploaded video to our YouTube channel displaying a vintage map of New York City produced in 1909. The video zooms and examines the various geographical aspects of this historical map while playing classical music in the background. Definitely check out the video and tell us what you think by leaving a comment below!

Where is Ellis Island ? – YouTube Video

Where is Ellis Island Located in New York Harbor? Well we explore this in our newest YouTube upload. In the video we examine and explore various maps of New York City and directly find the location of Ellis Island and the locations that are nearby. Take a few minutes and check out our YouTube video and tell us what you think below by leaving a comment!

Vintage New York City Map Dart Boards

I think we hit the Bulls-eye with these treasures. Whether it be for your New York City man cave or your basement bar, check out our customly designed New York City map dartboards. That’s right, wow your guests and challenge them to a match that is sure to please any NYC enthusiast. The maps designed and featured on these dart boards range in publication date from the 1600’s all the way to the early 1900’s. Some of the maps are birds-eye maps while others take on an overhead 2d perspective. The dartboards are the regulation standard with an 18″ diameter and a 1″ depth. The Board contains a finished aluminum scoring frame with a hanging hook. The dartboards also come with 2 sets of darts featuring American and British Flags tails. Hit the spot with these wonderful New York City Map dartboards!

Vintage Map of New York City (1884) Dartboards
Vintage Map of New York City (1884) Dartboards by Alleycatshirts
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Vintage Map of New York City (1878) Dartboard
Vintage Map of New York City (1878) Dartboard by Alleycatshirts
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Vintage Map of New York City (1846) Dartboards
Vintage Map of New York City (1846) Dartboards by Alleycatshirts
View New york city Dartboards online at zazzle
Vintage Map of New York City (1869) Dartboard
Vintage Map of New York City (1869) Dartboard by Alleycatshirts
Check out New york Dartboards online at zazzle