This article is the second part of a series of articles about Sanborn Fire Insurance maps. You’ll find the first one here: The typography of Sanborn New York City maps.
Once I knew where to look I found a lot of Sanborn Fire Insurance maps. When I started comparing them I noticed the variety of logo/wordmark designs. Displayed above are 30 examples, but it could have been easily been 100.
Which proves designers were either crazy, passionate about design, or were paid a lot of money to come up with a different design every time.
The wordmarks aren’t as instantly recognizable as a logo is supposed to be today, but they certainly are impressive. Especially when compared to their current logo.
EDIT: I’ve started adding large images to two Gimmebar collections:
Sanborn Map Company typography and lettering + Sanborn Map Company details.
The Sanborn Map Company
Sanborn Map Company began creating fire insurance maps in 1867. They were created to assist insurance agencies in assessing the fire risk of properties. Detailed maps, showing building use, sidewalk and street widths, layout and names, property boundaries, distance between buildings, house and block numbers, location of water mains, hydrants, piping, wells, cisterns, and fuel storage tanks. Maps were often updated by pasting new drawings directly over the original ones.
Other sources: high quality maps
I’ll update this list as soon as I find more websites with high quality scans. Most websites are from libraries and universities.