So, as would be expected, I’ve been digging deeper with this map pin stuff. And my digging has yielded some fairly interesting tidbits. Above is something I came across earlier today, a sort of counter-pin-map option from the National Map Company in 1920 (original ad from Google Books). It’s tough to read the text here, but it essentially says that you can mark up this map with whatever you’d like (ink, paint, pencils, crayons, &c.) and wipe it clean whenever needed. How? It was coated with a magical new substance called “celluloid”. The map doesn’t involve any pins, but it sure offers a viable option for iterative annotating.
Some other recent map pin finds include:
Napoleon preparing for battle with a map and some handmade pushpins.
Newspaper maps intended for annotation (most of which employed pins, by my favorite, which dates from the Civil War, suggested using colored pencils and… soft bread?)
Tons of companies in the early 1900′s dedicated largely to pin maps (Brude, Edexco, C. S. Hammond, & Co., Multiplex, &c.)
It turns out the most well-documented use for pin maps in the first half of the 1900′s was in the realm of public health (it was so widespread that this fella, Swarts, recommended color schemes).
And, finally, not-so-subtle sexism in a book, Woman’s part in government: whether she votes or not, suggesting that women should spend more time making pin maps.
Eh… I think we should all spend more time making pin maps. Here’s how to get started; build a mount like this.
In the meantime, if you live in Seattle, go check out Theo Chocolate’s pin map. It has only been up for a few months and it already looks like this.