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Item #: RM20-732
ORIGINAL 1858 MAP OF MOUNT EVEREST PEAK XV Col. Andrew S. Waugh SIGNED by Ed Hillary
By Andrew S. Waugh Col, Royal Geographical Society
Price: $1800.00


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Detailed Product Description
London, Royal Geographical Society, 1858. This is an original 162 year old map, not a copy! 

This is the first map to properly show the highest mountain in the world on it. 

This is the first map to call the mountain Mount Everest.

This is the first map to show its altitude as 29,002 feet. 

We have reproduced the map again below, so we can show you a larger image than the one above. 

The Great Trigonometrical Survey of India was created in the 1800s to properly map India for England. The survey started at the southern tip of India and eventually reached the Himalayas. According to accounts of the time, it was 1852 when the team's leader of the human computers, Radhanath Sikdar came to Andrew Waugh, the Surveyor General, to announce that what had been labeled as "Peak XV" was the highest point in the region and most likely in the world. 

To ensure that there was no error, Waugh took his time and did not publish this result until 1856, when he also proposed that the peak be named Mount Everest in honor of his predecessor. George Everest, the previous surveyor general, had always used local names for the features he surveyed, and Waugh had continued the practice. 

However, in the case of Peak XV, Waugh argued that with many local names for the mountain, it was impossible for him to identify the name that was most commonly used. Hodgson argued that the native name for it was Deodanga. Another suggestion was that the peak was what Hermann Schlagintweit had identified as Gaurisankar. Though Everest himself objected, the name "Mount Everest" was officially adopted by the Royal Geographical Society several years later. Now we know that its local names are Chomolongma and Sagarmatha. 

George Everest pronounced his name "Eeve - rest" not Ever - rest.

In 1858 Waugh traveled to Britain to present the results of his survey, and proposed that the highest peak he found, Peak XV, be named Mount Everest. He spoke at a meeting of the RGS, and had printed a number of maps, this map, to show the altitudes, locations and names of the peaks. Among others, Kangchenjunga and Jannu are also on this map, as they are readily visible from Darjeeling, a hill station of the British. 

In the 1980s my wife and I made book buying trips to the UK. In a London bookshop we got into talking about Mount Everest with the bookseller, and he told us he had copies of Waugh's original 1858 map. New and unused!  We bought all he had, fewer than ten as I recall. We sold them immediately through the paper catalogs that we issued pre-internet. We kept one, and eventually we asked Edmund Hillary to sign this copy.  

The map is obviously new and unused.  Ed Hillary signed his name in blue ink in a blank area above the areas that are mapped. This map should be archively framed, and stored out of sunlight. It has not foxed, stained, folded, yellowed or become brittle over the last 162 years. Please try to keep it that way! The overall size is 12 1/2 inches by 8 1/2 inches.

The height of Mount Everest was calculated to be exactly 29,000 ft (8,839.2 m) high, but was publicly declared to be 29,002 ft (8,839.8 m) in order to avoid the impression that an exact height of 29,000 feet (8,839.2 m) was nothing more than a rounded estimate. Waugh is therefore wittily credited with being "the first person to put two feet on top of Mount Everest." Later it was adjusted to 29,028 feet. Now it is called 8850 meters or 29,035 feet, but I also see 29,028 feet still used. 

Plaudits followed soon after Waugh's identification of Mount Everest. In 1857, the Royal Geographical Society awarded him its Patron's Medal and the following year he was made a Fellow of the Royal Society. Three years later, in 1861, he attained the rank of Major General and was replaced as Surveyor General by Henry Thuillier.

There will be some extra postage charge for Priority Mail.



 


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