The Makers of the Blueback Charts:
A History of Imray Laurie Norie & Wilson Ltd
by Susanna Fisher
This meticulously researched book tells the history of private chart making and the story of the families and companies that dominated this trade from its earliest beginnings.
From the 1750s, maritime navigators around the world relied on nautical charts and pilot books published by a handful of chart makers and instrument sellers working in the city of London. These privately produced charts or bluebacks, as they were known because of the tough blue manila paper on which they were mounted, were in circulation among merchant fleets until the Second World War.
The makers of the blueback charts were among the great map publishers of their day, and names like Imray, Lorie, Norie, and Wilson are well known to anyone with an interest in the history of nautical publishing and chart design. The high and low fortunes of their businesses, developments in chart-making technology and techniques, and the world of ever-expanding global commerce in which they lived and worked is colorfully portrayed for the general reader.
Includes: 30 b/w illustrations, 8 pages of color plates, index, bibliography, full-color dust jacket.
"This is...the definitive history of chart making."
--Royal Naval Sailing Association
"...a fine, well researched, and readable document of historical importance."
--Geoffrey L. Haskins, International Hydrographic Review
"...this is a most enjoyable book, providing welcome documentation of another pioneering aspect of British marine history."
--Alan Haugh, Geomatics World
"This book is highly enjoyable and a valuable work of scholarship."
--Gillian Hutchinson, IMCoS Journal