John B. Sparks' 1931 Histomap

(via Slate, Fast Co. Design and Boing Boing)

The chart emphasizes domination, using color to show how the power of various “peoples” (a quasi-racial understanding of the nature of human groups, quite popular at the time) evolved throughout history.

The chart was advertised as “clear, vivid, and shorn of elaboration,” while at the same time capable of “holding you enthralled” by presenting “the actual picture of the march of civilization, from the mud huts of the ancients thru the monarchistic glamour of the middle ages to the living panorama of life in present day America.”

See also: The Histomap of Evolution

Humans and other animals

4,000 years of human history in one chart

This “Histomap,” created by John B. Sparks, was first printed by Rand McNally in 1931. The 5-foot-long Histomap was sold for $1 and folded into a green cover, which featured endorsements from historians and reviewers.

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