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Springfield, the largest city in western Massachusetts, is viewed from the southwest in this presentation. The artist selected a vantage point above the western bank of the Connecticut River, looking in a slight northeasterly direction across the river at the city.
A distinctive feature of this view is the well-organized legend which consists of sixty-seven entries. For ease of identifying these references, the publisher classified them into four categories public buildings (26), general businesses (17), hotels (6), and manufactures (18). From this list and the four marginal insets, it is apparent that the city had a very diversified economic and industrial base.
In composing this drawing, the artist placed in the foreground the waterfront, where a number of factories and the railroad yards were located. The central focus is the central business district where many of the general businesses are identified. Among these buildings are the Massachusetts Mutual Life Insurance Company and one of the city's newspapers, the Springfield Republican. Both of these buildings are also pictured in the one of the marginal insets, suggesting that either one or both may have been a sponsor of the map's production.
Some of the city's major industrial activities included the manufacture of railroad cars (pictured in a marginal inset) and guns. The latter activity centered on the Springfield Armory, established by the federal government in the 1790s, and the Smith and Wesson Company. The former was prominently depicted in the upper right quarter of the drawing, while the latter was identified with the number 44, just right of the central business district.