1873 GOSSE W C Exploration of Central Australia


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This exceedingly informative and detailed steel plate engraved map correctly illustrates William Gosses expedition financed by the South Australian Government to find an interior route from South Australia to Western Australia. Gosse did discover and name Ayres Rock. Although the expedition did not achieve its stated objective it provided details of over 60,000 square miles (155,394 km²) of country and his maps prepared the way for John Forrest’s successful crossing from east to west of that same territory in 1874AUGUSTUS Heinrich PETERMANN, (1822-1898). After being schooled at the famous Geographische Kunstschule in Potsdam under Heinrich Berghaus, Petermann went to Edinburgh and worked for Alexander Johnston from 1845-47. He contributed to Johnstons National Atlas of Geography and his Physical Geography. He also constructed several maps for The Royal Illustrated Atlas of Modern Geography, first published in 1854-62. He moved to London in 1847 and worked as a journalist for the Athenaeum before setting up his own establishment The Geographical Establishment, Engraving, Lithographic and Printing Office. He published many works and also produced maps for the Journal of the Royal Geographical Society and through his membership established life-long relationships with many scientists, politicians and explorers. He became the Under Secretary in 1850; and at the suggestion of Robert Bunsen; Queen Victoria appointed him physical geographer-royal in 1868.Petermann maintained many contacts in the publishing industry especially with two Gotha publishers, Wilhelm and Bernhardt Perthes and in June 1853, after several factors including financial difficulties, accepted a position with the prospect of playing an important role in the establishment of Perthes geographical institute (the Gotha Institute). Part of the original plan was to revive the Geographisches Jahrbuch (Geographical Yearbook), which Heinrich Berghaus had edited from 1850 to 1852. At the suggestion of the manager Adolf Müller it was decided instead to publish the monthly Mittheilungen aus Justus Perthes Geographischer Anstalt über wichtige neue Erforschungen auf dem Gesamtgebiet der Geographie von Dr. A. Petermann (PGM) (Communications from the Justus Perthes Geographical Institute concerning important new studies in the whole field of geography, by Dr. A. Petermann). These were to be published in casual issues. Their relation to several of the Perthes atlases was plainly expounded in the preface to the first issue of 1855. Petermann put the main focus of the Mittheilungen on physical and bio-geography, geology and other natural phenomena, and to a lesser degree on ethnography. Its greatest strength lay in the accompanying maps, for it was thought these would show best the results of geographic exploration. In an age hungry for adventure, but not yet totally scientifically literate, this was the best way to attract the largest possible group of interested readers. The maps not only supplemented several of the Perthes atlases, but were also used as a forum to elaborate on new themes, thus widening the thematic scope of cartography.Petermann had a weakness for Australia and published some 48 maps concerning its exploration, though hardly any of the expeditions bore any German influence. According to Weller Petermann signed 226 articles in the PGM, His total production of maps stands at 535 including his maps for the Stieler, the Physical atlas and other miscellaneous items. In 1902 J.G. Bartholomew wrote”It is only a fair tribute to Augustus Petermann to say that no one has done more than he to advance modern cartography, and no man has ever left a more fitting monument to himself than his Mitteilungen, which still bears his name, and under the editorship of Dr. Supan, is the leading geographical authority in all countries. But to the absorbing fascination of his work Petermann sacrificed all other interests in life and died a martyr to geography”.In 1993 Justus Perthes Verlag, the publisher of PGM, was taken over by Ernst Klett Schulbuchverlag in Stuttgart. In 2003 the Perthes archives (180,000 maps, 120,000 geographic publications, and 800m of business archives) were bought by the Free State of Thüringen and deposited in the Gotha annex of Erfurt University. In 2004, after 149 years of publication, the journal Petermanns Geographische Mitteilungen ceased to be published.

Dimensions 42.5 × 27.5 cm
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W. C Gosse's Reise in Central Australien 26 Februar – 19 Dez 1873



Date Published