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The Sanborn Map® Collection contains large-scale, detailed maps from 1867 -1969 depicting the commercial, industrial, and residential sections of cities. They were designed in 1866 by surveyor D.A. Sanborn to assist fire insurance agents in determining the risk associated with insuring a particular property. The D.A. Sanborn Co. was the first to offer insurance maps on a national scale in response to the growth of urban communities after 1850. The company's surveyors meticulously documented the structural evidence of urbanization - building by building, block by block, and community by community.
Sanborn Maps® illustrate the size, shape, and construction material of dwellings, commercial buildings, and factories. Details include fire walls, windows and doors, style and composition of roofs, wall thickness, cracks in exterior walls, and elevators. They also indicate building use, sidewalk and street widths, layout and names, property boundaries, distance between buildings, house and block numbers, location of water mains, hydrants, piping, wells, cisterns, and fuel storage tanks. The maps are color-keyed. Please see map key to the right for details. For many years the maps were handmade and hand-colored. After 1911, corrections and amendments were pasted on top every few years.
The Marriott Library has digitized maps for Utah cities ranging from 1884 to 1955.
See Google map of all Sanborn cities