Geography Quiz

Anonymous Student, United States, 1821
David Rumsey Map Collection

Once upon a time, children learned geography by drawing maps by hand. Copying maps from books and atlases gave them opportunity to recreate the shapes of geologic, water, and political boundaries. Children learned to explore territory with a pen or pencil in a tactile manner and retained that information through their hands in a way that is incomparable to other methods.

In order to graduate from high school at the turn of the last century, my grandmother was required to write and illustrate by hand a book demonstrating knowledge in all her lessons including Zoology, Biology, Botany and, yes, Geography. Her calligraphy and calligraphic illustrations were simply magnificent.

David Rumsey created a beautiful (and award winning) blog post from his collection of 19th century maps by children.

I urge you to explore Rumsey's lengthy post complete with detailed illustrations, slide shows, links and commentary on style. If this turns you on, continue to explore his rich and beautiful site through which he shares his collection.