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Number: 1849
Continent: Africa
Region: South
Place Names: South Africa, Witwaterstrand, Transvaal,
Year of Origin: 1895
Title: Carte Du District Aurifere Du Witwatersrand Transvaal (Afrique du Sud) Par S. Goldmann d'apres le Cadastre officiel du Gouvernement (Johannesburg, Decembre 1894)
Language: French
Publish Origin: Paris
Height: 66.5
Width: 196.3
Units: centimeters
Size Class.: Large
Scale: 1 : 46,000
Color Type: Full Color
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Cartographer: Charles Sydney Goldmann
Engraver: Langonnet & Langlet
Publisher: Lemaire
Henry Dupont
Other Contributors:
Northernmost Latitude: -26.0
Southernmost Latitude: -27.0
Westernmost Longitude: 28.0
Easternmost Longitude: 29.0
Notes: Filed with books of South Africa; Martayan Lan Augustin; 16 sections mounted on linen, original color with gold highlights. Bound in pebbled boards with original label affixed to front cover; linen worn at folds, extreme margin of one map sheet chipped in two places. Very rare (one OCLC copy in French and only 1 identied in English), mineralogical survey dating from the early years of the mining of the huge gold reefs in the Witwatersrand Basin of South Africa. From the time when these deposits were discovered in 1886, South Africa became one of the world's major gold producers. The Witwatersrand region, which forms the watershed between the Vaal and Olifants rivers, is c. 25 miles (40 km) wide and extends more than 60 miles (100 km) from west to east in a series of parallel ranges 5,000 to 6,000 ft (1,520--1,830 m) above sea level. The thin bands of gold ("reefs") are mined at depths of up to 10,000 ft (3,050 m). Founded as a mining settlement in 1886, Johannesburg already appears as a sizeable community 9 years later, when this map was published. The large map (on a scale of 1:47,000) not only marks geological features but also townships and "mynpachts" (mining licenses). In addition to a general map of Transvaal (1:400,000), small inset maps depict the Heidelberg district, Klerksdorp district and the Northern extension, all of which were potentially lucrative parts of the Rand. Also included are a geologic cross-section of the land near Johannesburg and diagrams distinguishing between two types of mining companies --"deep-level" and "outcrop", with the mineral-rich veins highlighted with gold. In his description of the region, Dupont mentions the estimates made by Counsellor Schmeisser, a special envoy sent by the German government to study the Rand. Schmeisser analyzed the central region of the ridge, which fell under the jurisdiction of one Boer-owned and another British-owned company. He estimated the minimum value of the gold that could be extracted over the coming 30-40 years at more than 7 billion German Marks (nearly 9 billion French francs). Extrapolating to include more of the ridge, Goldman optimistically triples or quadruples this figure. Colonized by the Boers, Transvaal had become independent in 1881. The discovery of gold attracted many foreigners, especially Britons and Germans. Threatened by the economic success of the Dutch colony, the British settlers on the coast began a campaign of encirclement, hoping to gain control of the gold mines. In 1895, the same year that this map appeared in Paris, the infamous Jameson Raid was instigated against President Paul Kruger, and the increased tension that followed that aborted uprising led shortly thereafter to the Boer War (1899-1902). Henry Dupont published a number of other works on mining in South Africa, specifically analyzing the effects of the war on the Transvaal and the future of mining in the region. The map was lithographed by Langonnet & Langlet, Paris. OCLC lists one copy at the Bibl. Interuniversitaire Scientifique Jussieu (Paris).; [scale bar on map]; The Witwatersrand basin was created during the Archean Eon before continental land masses were separated by plate tectonics. It is therefore amongst the oldest geological structures on earth. It is more than 50 Kilometers long and 5 kilometers thick and holds the world?s largest known gold reserves containing almost as much gold as the rest of the Earth's surface combined. The origin of gold is locked deep in the Earth?s core. Geologic evidence gives three stages in how the gold deposits reached the surface here more than 3 billion years ago. The process included volcanic extrusions, ancient lake sedimentations, and the largest verified meteor impact on Earth, as the 300 Km Vredefort crater. All of this and all our current knowledge of the Earth?s structure and even the origin of life can be traced to a seminal map that changed the world in 1815 by William Smith entitled ?A Delineation of the Strata of England and Wales?. This work opened the reality of ?deep-time? based on ordered layers of earth sediments. A generation later in 1885, two itinerant prospectors, George Walker and George Harrison, stumbled on surface outcrops of gold-speckled conglomerate on an old farm that is now near the center of Johannesburg but they never understood the deeper capacity. However, Charles Sydney Goldmann did, and made a fortune in multiple mining companies in and around this basin. He later became a journalist, a politician, and author of a three volume text on mining and geology. As such, Goldmann?s extensive map of the Witwatersrand is a superb preview of how geologic structure could be utilized in practical engineering design and resource development, foreshadowing fossil fuel, oil, gas, and energy strategies, which now substantially form our modern enterprise. [only one other example located, one copy at the Bibl. Interuniversitaire Scientifique Jussieu (Paris)
Last updated: May 18, 2016