JF Ptak Science Books
Well, one is a map and the other is a view, but that is harder to say in a title. They are extremely early for what they are. The first item1, depicted just below, is a map drawn by the accomplished Edward Ord of (mostly) the entire Los Angeles Plains, reaching down to San Diego in the south and up to the“Mission and plain of San Fernando” in the north. It is a small but important map, one of the very first scientific maps of the region. It is a military map of the area--drawn just after the American conquest--and it is also a gold rush map. It appeared as one of the illustrations in the first significant scientific work on the California gold rush: Philip Tyson’s Information in Relation to the geology and topography of California, which was published in 1850.
From the first scientific rendering of Los Angels in 1850 comes the first view of the city--it is tiny by the modern standards of a small time but here in 1855 it was fairly well seasoned and developed, with at least 100 structures. The first L.A. bird's eye view appeared in the great survey of possible routes for the transcontinental railway called the USPRR Surveys (or the U.S. Pacific Rail Road Survey2).
1. See this interesting popular story on the map in Los Angeles Magazine http://www.lamag.com/citythinkblog/citydig-the-los-angeles-plains-plainly-sketched/
Also if you're interested in reading Ord's correspondence regarding the map see here in The Army Surveys of Gold Rush California: Reports of Topographical Engineers, edited by Gary Clayton Anderson, Laura Lee Anders
2. The fuller title: Explorations and Surveys for a Railroad Route From the Mississippi River to the Pacific Ocean...Report of Explorations for a Route...Near the 38th and 39th Parallels of North Latitude .. Volume V , Washington: GPO, 1855.
- Map of the Vicinity of the Los Angeles Plains, 1850. 8x6". Old folds. Nice condition. $250
- Los Angeles Bird's Eye View print, 8x11", tinted lithograph. Very good condition, with some occasional light foxing. $275