How to draw a map
Posted 12 November, 2010 13:04 by Karla Baker
Educational materials are a small and lesser known component of Bartholomew’s printed output, an output which was necessarily dominated by maps. An earlier blog entry (Top to bottom up and round) focused on sheets for practicing handwriting, an interesting departure for Bartholomew and one that was relatively short lived. However, education, and most particularly in the fields of cartography and geography, was a favourite cause of John George Bartholomew (1860-1920), the man at the head of the firm when the subject of this entry was printed, 20 October 1902.
John Miller Dow Meiklejohn (1930-1902) was a prolific writer of school books. Advertised as Professor Meiklejohn’s Series, the books under this imprint range in topics from geography, history, English composition to book-keeping and in title from The Art of Writing English (1899) to Heuristic Geometry. Bartholomew’s The Comparative Atlas Physical & Political (1898), was part of Meiklejohn’s geographical series, a work which Meiklejohn both edited and wrote the accompanying essay Lessons in Map-Drawing. The atlas was described by one contemporary reviewer as “…the most comprehensive work ever published at the moderate price of half-a-crown”.
Meiklejohn was highly educated, fluent in many languages and politically Liberal. He undertook to write educational works on a variety of topics, exploiting his own wide ranging knowledge. He was a pedagogue par excellence, not only striving to teach individuals through these works, but also to teach teachers. He was the first person to hold the chair of Professor of Education at the University of St Andrews, which was itself, along with Edinburgh, the first Scottish university to have such a chair.
The aim of this lesson is to arm the student with sufficient knowledge to be able to replicate, from scratch, the outlines of the continents. In only a few steps it is possible to produce a rough outline onto which you can then carefully add the inlets and outgoes that define the coasts. It is a simple technique (in theory) but one cannot help but think the theoretical simplicity may fly out of the window when put into practise. I guess there’s only one way to find out, now, where did I put my pencil…