Hysterical Map Of Spokane Is Not A Historical Map

Many promotional campaigns make use of impressive map art to show points of interest and activities that are done in a city, town, campus or resort. Some of the map art focus on a moment in time that will be interesting to a viewer. Other maps are created using a combination of skills, creativity and color to present a community.

Two Spokane brothers Jolly and Ott Lindgren had a sign-making and advertising business but it was struggling because of the economic effects of the 1930 Great Depression. The Spokane brothers needed and a new product and Jolly, the artist had an idea. Jolly felt that the country needed something to put a smile on people’s faces.

Jolly came up with a plan to illustrate an entertaining map of Spokane with the company’s name, address and phone number. It was essentially an ad for the Lindgren brothers’ company to promote the business. Ted Turner Jr. the director of sales and customer relations liked Jolly’s idea and called the map “Hysterical Map” instead of historical map.

The first garish 5-toned hysterical map of Spokane was born filled with cartoon figures and wit. It aptly represented Spokane and included the blank zone in the northwest as an unknown region with no good reason to go there.

After the map had been printed 7 times, the Lindgren brothers knew that they struck gold. Over the next 20 years, the company was able to make maps of every state in the United States, national parks and tourist destinations. The company also introduced the national trend for decals.

Humorous and sometimes violent signs like “No Trespassing; Survivors will be prosecuted” were sold in department stores across the country. The Lindgren brothers also became pioneers in screen printing that allowed the reproduction of multicolored images. The brothers figured out the new technology even without the proper equipment.

Illustrated maps with impressive map art are an important part of yesteryears. However, the pieces of art that were popular centuries ago are surprisingly still enjoyed by people today. There are illustrated maps of towns, cities, resorts and campuses that can be described as a product of creative and skillful combination of geography, architecture and information.