Fire Insurance Atlas – Cape Town Volume 1. – Goad, Charles Edward


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A fire-insurance atlas of central Cape Town. Comprising of 25 sheets, 53 x 62cm, most with outline duplicates to the facing page. Covering the area from Victoria Basin in the north to Culemborg Goods Yard and Searle Street in the east, De Waal Park in the south and Waterkant Street and the Malay Burial Ground in the west. At a scale of 50ft – 1inch. With a Key Plan in 500ft – 1inch. The original sheets are lithographs from 1925. Revised by hand in 1931, 1937, 1949 and 1956. Revisions were done by pasting paper cut-outs onto the original sheet. There is a key -“Explanation of Signs used on Insurance Plans of Town & Cities.”. A Key Plan, showing the entire area covered by the atlas. An index sheet and a further 24 sheets of detailed plans of the City Bowl. There are outline plans to the facing pages of 14 of these. Making a total of 39 plans. Fire insurance plans were designed by Charles Edward Goad 1848-1910, a noted Canadian map maker and civil engineer. The purpose of the maps was to assess the risk of fire in the area, and to determine the potential for damage. The plans are very scarce as they were not sold to the public, but were hired out in atlases to organisations such as insurance companies and local authorities. They were revised every 5 – 10 years when the atlases were withdrawn and new buildings and other details were added by pasting the cut-out revisions on top of the earlier plans The plans identify all kinds of information including street widths, property numbers, property owners and businesses etc, and a colour coding system was used to classify different types of building with brick buildings shown in red, wooden buildings in yellow, stone buildings in dark blue, low level skylights in light blue, and high level skylights in purple. All this information helped insurers to determine the likelihood of fire, and the potential for damage. The plans contain a wealth of detailed information about the history of the buildings of the inner City. Binding: Card sheets bound in a half black leather binding with blue cloth boards. 53 x 62cm. Condition: Good. Some cockling to the sheets and numerous amendments to the plans. Some scattered insect damage and pencil notes. General light wear to the binding.

Date Published: 1925-1956

First Edition: Yes

Condition: good to very good
Binding: Card sheets bound in a half black leather binding with blue cloth boards.

Dimensions: 56 x 62cm

Additional information

Weight 10000 g