Bird's-Eye View of Caledonia, NY, 1892

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Bird's-Eye View of Caledonia, NY, 1892


Aerial panorama of Caledonia, NY was published by Burleigh Litho of Troy, NY. According to John William Reps, Lucien R. Burleigh was responsible—whether as artist or publisher—for some 228 lithographic city views (it is possible, even likely that the Caledonia map was executed by an employee named Christian Fausel). Trained as a civil engineer, economic recession pressed Burleigh into finding other ways of making a living. He began city viewmaking during the 1870s and by the mid-1880s was well established in his profession.

Burleigh's usual practice was to work from an available map, determine the most advantageous viewpoint (for a village like Caledonia, typically 1500 feet above the ground), and make small sketches at the street level. Another important task during a two- or three-week stay was soliciting subscriptions for the panorama: it took perhaps 100 persons, each paying $2.50-3:00 for a map, for the project to break even.

The Burleigh map’s legend provides us with a snapshot of Caledonia in 1892, just recovering from a major fire in 1891. It lists 48 points including railroad stations, churches, the public school, and even Seth Green’s fish hatchery, but a majority of the numbered locations are commercial enterprises—a likely base of customers for purchasing copies of the completed work.

This item includes a small and large image file of Burleigh's map, and an enlargement of Seth Green's fish hatchery north of Caledonia.


Burleigh Litho.




Cooper, Ken


Library of Congress


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Still Image Item Type Metadata

Original Format

Paper map

Physical Dimensions

13 x 25 in.