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Pi(e) Day in the Map Division


Taking inspiration from the delightful National Cookie Day post by Elizabeth Waters of Mid-Manhattan Library, the Map Division is using Pi(e) Day as cause to celebrate not only our love for pie (the eating kind), but also the wonderful variety of pictorial maps in the collections of the Lionel Pincus and Princess Firyal Map Division. See our pairings below of some down-home American sweets (and the cookbooks containing their recipes) with charming and often quirky, generously illustrated maps that depict states and some of their agricultural bounty (among other things). Look for the produce on each map that puts the filling between the crusts.

Pecans from Louisiana

Map:  Louisiana, Nature’s Cornucopia, published by the Louisiana Dept. of Highways in the 1960s.
Pecan pie recipe from Christopher Kimball’s The Dessert Bible

LA-Pecans-2.jpgpecan pie piece.jpg



Lemons from California

Map:  Sunkist Map of California, by Cal Rambeau, published in Los Angeles by the California Fruit Growers Exchange, 1940.
Shaker lemon pie recipe from Shaker Your Plate : of Shaker Cooks and Cooking, by Frances A. Carr.

Calif-Lemons.jpg Calif-Lemons2.JPG

Shaker lemon pie.jpg slice of Shaker lemon pie.jpg

Cherries from Michigan

Map: Historical Pictorial Points of Interest Map of Michigan, with cartography by Rand McNally & Company, published in Philadelphia by Sun Oil Company, [1935]
Cherry pie recipe from American Pie : Slices of Life (and Pie) from America’s Back Roads by Pascale LeDraoulec.



cherry pie.jpg


Blueberries from New Jersey

Map:  A Romance Map of New Jersey, drawn by Mildred C. Green, published in Ridgewood, N.J. by Romance Map of New Jersey, 1935.
Blueberry pie recipe from Mark Bittman’s How to Bake Everything.




blueberry pie.jpg


Apples from New York State

Map: Pictorial Guide to Happy Motoring in New York, published by Esso, [1939], with cartography by General Drafting Co.
Apple pie recipe from The Pie and Pastry Bible, by Rose Levy Beranbaum.



NYS-Apples1.jpg       Apple pie cut open.jpg


This genre of map, especially popular through the 1920s, 1930s and 1940s, is listed in the Dictionary Catalog of the Map Division, under subject “Pictorial maps,” and then by place, or under place and then by date.  You can also find maps of this type described in the online Research Catalog.  Search for them:

  • by genre “Pictorial maps,” or

  • by subject “[place name] Maps, pictorial.”

The Map Division will be highlighting some other pictorial maps from our collections in our map display case in Room 117 come April.  Stay tuned for an exhibition announcement. With thanks to Katherine Cordes for her map photography, and to the Map Division pages for their always-willing assistance.


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Vote New York !

I vote for Apples from New York State and the pie that goes with it !

California lemons! Love this

California lemons! Love this blog, pies & maps are excellent. Looking forward to seeing the information in other formats, soon. thanks!

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