'BIRMINGHAM' by J. Henshall (S.D.U.K.) c.1844
A very attractive and detailed mid 19th century city plan of Birmingham, West Midlands (formerly Warwickshire) which was engraved by J. Henshall and 'Published under the Superintendence of the Society for the Diffusion of Useful Knowledge' (London: Baldwin & Craddock, 1844). Near the bottom border, architectural illustrations of the city's most prominent buildings are displayed including the Town Hall, the Theatre Royal and the School of Arts.
'The Society for the Diffusion of Useful Knowledge' (S.D.U.K.), founded in 1826, was a philanthropic organisation established with the purpose of supplying the public with accessible and affordable educational material, particularly in the form of maps. The 19th century had, as a result of both the agricultural and industrial revolution, seen an increase in population, urbanisation and literacy. These resulting changes had lead to concerns that the urban masses could be influenced by cheap, radical and seditious forms of literature, which in turn, would lead to major social unrest and possible revolution. The S.D.U.K. sort to remedy this problem with more beneficial forms of education. Despite producing many fine works /maps and inspiring an American movement of the same name, the S. D. U. K. was to enjoy only moderate success and folded in 1848; nevertheless, its maps were republished by various publishers into the 1880s.
- This is an original steel engraving with original hand colour.
- Printed area is approximately 40.2cms by 33.1cms.
- The map is in very good condition. The margins are close, as issued. Click on image for a better view.
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- Guaranteed to be over 150 years old.