Fuller and Whitney

Charles River Basin and Harvard Bridge Economic Studies

Map of Charles River Basin Between Boston and Cambridge Compiled by Fuller and Whitney Jan. 1885

DESCRIPTION: Manuscript surveyors-trace economic option studies for road approaches and the proposed West Chester Park Bridge (now, Harvard Bridge, MIT Bridge, or Massachusetts Avenue Bridge). Eight surveyors' trace documents to support civil engineering and economic options for the placement of the Harvard Bridge, spanning the Charles River between Boston and Cambridge, Massachusetts. General plans for the new bridge were approved in July 1887; the bridge opened in September 1891.

The lot consists of eight MS pen and ink traces (for blueprint production) consisting of two base maps of Boston and Cambridge as well as six MS trace sheets with street and bridge options. The two base maps show the Charles River Basin with the existing West Boston Bridge (Longfellow Bridge) and road network. One map has much greater detail on street names and improved larger lettering.

Six map overlays:
  • No 1. Shows the proposed new route as well as text and tabular information for the gain or loss of time over the proposed new route.
  • No. 2 Shaded area shows lands of the Charles River Embankment Company (proposed Esplanade), proposed approaches to the Charles River Esplanade and proposed West Chester Park Bridge (aka Harvard Bridge)
  • No. 3 Approaches for the proposed West Chester Park Bridge (east of the final location)
  • No. 4 Second option. Bridge located at West Chester (aka Massachusetts Avenue) but terminated slightly more to the east.
  • No. 5 Third option. Bridge at West Chester, and a proposed wide avenue extending to the end of Commonwealth in Cambridge.
  • No. 6 Fourth option. No Esplanade
Scale 1650 feet to one inch.

Fuller and Whitney
Back Bay Engineers (1872- 1888)

From 1872 to 1888, Fuller & Whitney Civil Engineers thrived as a partnership between J. Franklin Fuller and William H. Whitney. In 1888, Whitney assumed sole proprietorship, boldly renaming the firm "William H. Whitney" to reflect his visionary leadership.

1881 MS Trace Fuller and Whitney Ad and Order Form

1881 MS Trace Fuller and Whitney Ad and Order Form
(not included)

In his autobiography Whitney refers to his work with the latest cutting-edge reprographic technology- blueprinting:
“In September 1881 I received a bronze medal at the Massachusetts Charitable Mechanic Association Exhibit for sun or blue prints. I developed a process from the French and used it in illustrating the growth of Back Bay lands. I issued to subscribers monthly schedules and maps showing the changes of ownership, increase in value, improvement by filling and public works.” (The New England Historical and Genealogical Register. Vol 64, January 1910. Number 253. p. lix)

CREATOR: Fuller and Whitney



BODY OF WATER: Charles River

CONDITION: Very good.  Clean. Each sheet with pinhole evidence of the pins used to bind the group together.



SIZE: 10 " x 6 "


PRICE: $1900


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