A Survey of the Roads of the United States of America by American engineer and surveyor Christopher Colles, issued in New York in 1789, was the first road atlas or guide book of the United States. The series of 83 maps with a title page was privately published by Colles, by subscription.
"It uses a format familiar to modern travelers with each plate consisting of two to three strip maps arranged side by side, covering approximately 12 miles. Colles began this work in 1789, but brought the project to an end in 1792 after obtaining relatively few subscriptions. But in that time, he compiled an atlas covering approximately 1,000 miles from Albany to Williamsburg, and is invaluable today for understanding the developing road network in the new nation."
Ristow, ed., A Survey of the Roads of the United States of America 1789 by Christopher Colles (1961) includes a lengthy biographical introduction and reproductions of a complete copy of the atlas.
(This entry was last revised on 07-09-2010).