1939 WPA Map of New Jersey

Boyd

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Note: as posted below, unfortunately this map is no longer available because a copyright is still in effect. All links to this map will no longer work. Sorry...

As promised in another thread, the 1939 WPA Federal Writer's Project Map of New Jersey is now online! This map is much more accurate than the little Kobbe maps, although still low resolution. I georeferenced it to the USGS 250k topo's from the 1940's and matched 66 control points scattered throughout the map. It's pretty close, but there are still variations - the roads are a bit simpler. The georeferencing caused some map distortion, but not too bad.

A little quick Googling reveals that this map was originally included with the WPA Federal Writers Project Guide to New Jersey, which is an interesting book I hadn't seen before. Guess that some of you book collectors already know about it though. :) I found this ad for a used copy at AbeBooks, you can see the map in the pouch in one of the photos. ($245 and it's yours, LOL)

 
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bobpbx

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Very cool Boyd. I like the Camp Dix touch. And Merrygold was a real place. I knew it was a branch, but not a place. And, they're right, it's Bamber, and not Bamber Lake.
 
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bobpbx

Piney
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I don't recall ever seeing it. That's a great thing this country did, putting people to work on projects during the depression that likely interested them.
 
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stiltzkin

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Oh, this is really cool. You are on a roll with these new map additions.

I found the book for $100 cheaper if anyone is interested; sometimes you have to search multiple names. I'll pass at this price, it's not something I really need to have. Maybe I'll set up an alert for this one, and if I see it for around half this, I might go for it.
 
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Boyd

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Thanks! :)

You could pay a visit to Franklin D. Roosevelt Park

Apparently this became Egg Harbor City Lake, lines up pretty well with the parcels.

https://boydsmaps.com/pines/#14/39.559182/-74.608336/parcels07/0/0/

Gloucester Lake is also interesting, it appears on the 19th century topos

https://boydsmaps.com/pines/#14/39.568512/-74.586964/cook/0/0/

But not on the 24k topo and not on the 1930's aerials either.

https://boydsmaps.com/pines/#16/39.568512/-74.586964/njgin1930/0/0/

An 82 acre parcel is still devoted to it however.

https://boydsmaps.com/pines/#16/39.569918/-74.586234/parcels07/0/0/

The "addl lot" note is interesting, apparently two lots were merged together in 1917.

Screen Shot 2023-04-07 at 9.25.15 AM.png


Maybe @Mikeofthewoods knows some of the history?
 
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Boyd

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I found the book for $100 cheaper if anyone is interested;

You can also read it for free here (link is also in the Map Info). It's is a PDF of the 1986 reprint from Rutgers, quite a lengthy tome (767 pages). Still copyrighted, so I won't post anything extensive.


See "Tour 23A" that begins on page 603:

"Egg Harbor City Batsto Pleasant Mills; unnumbered roads. Egg Harbor City to Pleasant Mills, 12.1 m.
Macadamized roadbed.Garage service and restaurants at Egg Harbor City, few filling stations along the route."


And this is the place to find out about things on the map! Lots of good stuff here, have not even begun to read it yet.

"North from US 30 (see Tour 23) at EGG HARBOR CITY, 0m (63 alt., 3,478 pop.) (see Tour 23), on Green Bank Rd., a macadamized high way, to FRANKLIN D. ROOSEVELT PARK, 3 m. (athletic fields, playgrounds, bathing beach). Much of the work on the 5oo-acre municipally owned park has been done by the WPA."

[...]

"Right on this road through cedar swamplands to GLOUCESTER LAKE (R), 0.6, which once supplied power to Gloucester Furnace.Left at Gloucester Lake to (R) the SITE OF GLOUCESTER FURNACE, 1.6 m., on Landing Creek. The remains of a dam and a pile of slag nearby are the only signs of the bog-iron furnace built in 1813 by John Richards, who was trained at Batsto Furnace under his uncle, Col. William Richards, one of Washington's officers. The old village, a stop on the Philadelphia stage route, has disappeared."
 
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Boyd

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Learning a lot, this was very near my home, was it on the old Belco site? There's more, but I'll leave that as an exercise for the reader. :D

[edit 8/25/23]The site was actually at Thompsontown on the East side of the river. See this thread for more info.

From "Tour 24", page 607:

"MAYS LANDING, 17.5 m., (20 alt., 1,868 pop.), is the seat of Atlantic County. It is also the national capital of the nudists, who in 1937 designated the community as their headquarters."
 
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amf

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Interesting the places that appear in red lettering on the map... in Salem and Cumberland Counties, there is the Seabrook Bulb Gardens and a place called Ivy Manor. I knew a farmer in that area whose home place was called Ivy Manor; never knew there was any significance to the name, and still don't know what the significance may have been! Time to burrow into google...
 
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bobpbx

Piney
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The section regarding the Jersey Devil is funny. Here's a snip:

Another person who vouches for a view of the devil is Philip Smith, a Negro slaughterhouse worker in Woodstown. Smith, whose reputation for honesty and sobriety is unimpeachable, was looking out the window just before midnight on an eve ning in 1935 when he saw the devil walking down the sidewalk across the street. "Looked to me something like a giant police dog, kind of high in the back," Smith related. "He walked past the grocery store and disappeared."
 
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bobpbx

Piney
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Another snippet from their view of the Jersey Devil back then: :)

He has never harmed a soul, nor violated even a local ordinance. There is every reason to believe that his nocturnal ramblings have been actuated by a sympathetic curiosity about the affairs of man. One report is that he is writing a thesis, A Plutonian Critique of Some Awful Aspects of the Terrestrial Life, in preparation for a doctor's degree from the University of Hell.
 

Boyd

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I knew a farmer in that area whose home place was called Ivy Manor; never knew there was any significance to the name, and still don't know what the significance may have been!

Since that map was a supplement to the book, it appears that many of the places are covered. I downloaded a copy of the PDF for easier access (just saved the page as a PDF in Safari, probably the same in other browsers). That makes it easy to search, and I found the following:

page 635:

"Right on this road is JERICHO, 3 m., 30 alt., 350 pop.), established 1690 when Joshua Brick erected a tavern and gristmill.
Right from Jericho on the old Jericho Pike to IVY MANOR (private), .6 m., built in 1800 by John Wood. It is in the Georgian style, of time-mellowed red brick, ivy-covered and surrounded by old trees and shrubbery. The three-story building contains 18 rooms, most of them with fireplaces, and mantelpieces of fine Italian marble. This was the "Bull Tavern" about which several of George Agnew Chamberlain's stories were centered. It is now a sanitarium."
 
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Boyd

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How about this one on page 605? There's quite a bit more on the subject too.

"Northwest of Batsto, in the area between Mullica River and its tributary, Batsto River, is the heart of the Jersey Pines, a deep scrub forest threaded by occasional trails and a few wretched roads, unmarked and not safe for automobile travel except in dry weather. The inhabitants are called the Pineys.

Conditions have changed somewhat in the 26 years that have passed since 1913, when Elizabeth S, Kite of the Vineland Training School startled people by her careful report in The Survey on the social problems created by the presence of this group of segregated, inbred people. The construction of roads through the Pines has broken down some of the barriers between the Pineys and the people around them. But no one knows how many tiny hovels built of cast-off cranberry boxes and miscellaneous lumber still remain in the recesses of the pine forest. And no one knows exactly how many Pineys still live in the squalor of these shacks, though it is believed that there are somewhat fewer than 5,000."
 
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Boyd

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Awhile ago I posted a thread about the 1975 film "The Hindenburg" with George C. Scott but can't find it now. Anyway, as the airship crosses into New Jersey, someone on the ground crew makes a comment about pineys shooting at airships from their stills in the woods and I wondered if that was a real thing. Well, apparently it was. On the next page:

"A staff correspondent of the Newark Evening News reported that U. S. Navy blimps must be careful in their flights over the area. The Piney bootleggers, suspecting that the low-flying blimps are seeking illicit stills, are quick on the trigger; frequently the small dirigibles return to Lakehurst from training flights with bullet holes in the fabric."
 
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Boyd

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Well, this is embarassing. Just saw this small notice at the bottom of the map that I had not seen before. Based on this, I believe I must remove this map from my site, as it is still under copyright until 2034 (95 years from publication). Would be interested in any dissenting opinions, but I think it's pretty clear, so I have pulled the map.

It was fun while it lasted. :(

Screen Shot 2023-04-11 at 7.04.03 AM.png
 
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bobpbx

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Well, this is embarassing. Just noticed this small notice at the bottom of the map that I had not seen before. Based on this, I believe I must remove this map from my site, as it is still under copyright until 2034 (95 years from publication). Would be interested in any dissenting opinions, but I think it's pretty clear, so I have pulled the map.

It was fun while it lasted. :(

View attachment 19713
See if they exist and ask them for permission. What do they care now after 84 years? None of them are around anymore, we can almost guarantee that.
 
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stiltzkin

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(I am not a lawyer, and this is not legal advice).

I think you might be OK on this one, for these reasons:
  • The original copyright date is 1939.
  • Books published before 1964 were required to have their copyright renewed 28 years from the original publication (with a few exceptions that won't apply here).
  • We would therefore expect to see a copyright renewal in 1967, or 1968 to be extra sure. You can find those renewal records online. For example, here's a December 1967 renewal for a similar book on Florida and a July 1968 one for a book on Massachusetts, with their original copyrights in 1939:
florida.JPG

mass.JPG

  • I was not able to find a similar renewal for this book for either of those years. I also double checked with Stanford's database of renewals.
  • There are other editions (at least one in 1977 and one in 1986) but these will have their own copyrights and (as far as I can tell) do not serve as renewals for the original work. The 1977 edition doesn't have a specific renewal statement. We can tell that the 1986 Rutgers University Press edition is a new text copyright (it has a "TX" prefix). If it was a copyright renewal, it would begin with "RE":
reg.JPG

You couldn't reproduce the map if it was obtained from these later printings, without permission.

I only did some quick searches here, so it's possible I could have missed the renewal or some other important detail in the records. The fact that it was written by a collection of authors makes the search a bit harder. But if this is correct, it seems to me that the original 1939 printing has likely been in the public domain since 1968.

This is not proof of anything, but you can also find a scan of the entire book in The Open Library, if that makes you feel better about it.
 
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Boyd

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Wow, thanks for checking all of that out, you may be right. But, unfortunately, as you say...

(I am not a lawyer, and this is not legal advice).

And even if you were a lawyer, you're not *my* lawyer, who is hired to defend me. What if some copyright troll contacts me with a demand for payment? That's what happened to Ben here at NJPB. He didn't pay them, but he did pay an attorney to handle it and also had to take the material down. It's very frustrating, I thought this map would be a nice resource for everyone and spent two full days working on it. Nobody but myself to blame, I should have looked more closely at the fine print down in the corner, would not have published it in the first place if I saw that copyright.

But there's simply no upside for me offering it on a free website, yet there's plenty of downside risk. I would rather err on the side of caution and just move on.

See if they exist and ask them for permission.

Thanks, that is certainly one approach I could take. Quick google search doesn't find anything beyond references to this book and another from 1930. But at this point, I'd rather cut my losses. Am already back at work expanding the 3d LIDAR map to the rest of New England, which is a big job that will keep me busy for awhile.
 

bobpbx

Piney
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You know what I think? It was likely paid for by Federal or State money, so perhaps their copyright was never legal in the first place. Not only that, since you are not profiting from it, the lawsuit would just end up with a cease and desist order.

But you do what you think is right.
 
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