I'm sort of "old school" about some things. You may be too.
Our GPS unit and the smartphone's directions and map services are just fine for guidance from here to there, but I still have about a dozen or so paper maps in the car. And it is rather surprising how often they get used.
People have been relying on printed maps since the Babylonians started scratching them out on clay tablets about 2,500 years before the Common Era.
Cartography advanced from there and, by the time of the Greek and Roman civilizations, mapping was well advanced and the concept of a round Earth was well known.
Today in What's It Worth? we examine the history and value of a quite special map -- dealing specifically with our region.
Q. I found this old map of southeastern Washington -- it folds down into the size of a small book and has booklike covers -- while helping demolish a house in Seattle. That was many years ago. It says the publisher was Eastwick, Morris and dates to 1878. What can you tell me about it? -- Ron in Joseph, Ore.
A. This territorial map is rare and valuable, and dates to the last years before Washington Territory became a state. The publisher -- Eastwick, Morris & Co. -- was a civil and mining engineering firm that produced many maps. They were in business in Seattle by at least early 1876. At the time, the city's population was less than 5,000.
There were even fewer people living east of the Cascades, as this map shows. In fact almost the entire area north of the mouth of the Snake River -- at today's Sacajawea Park -- and of the Columbia River downstream from the Snake, is shown with no settlements at all.
Drawn by John Hanson, a cartographer working for Eastwick, Morris, the map measures 29 by 39 inches and is in excellent condition.
Of historical significance, particularly in the Tri-Cities region, the map tells us that what are Kennewick, Pasco, Richland and all the related communities today were once just "sage brush and sand," with no people.
This map very seldom comes up for sale. One was cataloged in a famous 1960s auction; the maps of big-time collector Thomas Streeter. Another just recently sold in San Francisco with an auction price of $2,000.
Many museums and historical societies, as well as private collectors, would be interested in this map. It is a piece worthy of framing and display.
Seen and sold
Doing the laundry is a chore, but it is neither as time-consuming nor as arduous as it was for our ancestors.
We saw this laundry accessory at a mid-summer outdoor antiques show and sale in the Tri-Cities. It's a combination wringer/double wash stand that dates to the early years of the 20th century.
One hundred years ago, housewives generally had "laundry day." That is, the one day of the week when laundry was done. This type of apparatus was one of the few pieces of equipment that made the job less back-breaking.
The unit folds up to save space when not in use. You put a tub of washed and rinsed laundry on the stand on one side, run the individual items through the ringer, and they slide down a small chute into another washtub on the other side. Pin onto the line, dry, fold, store away and -- whew -- all done for the week.
This "folding bench wringer" was designed to reduce some of that hard work. It's a "Mascotte" model, made by the American Wringer Company of Woonsocket, R.I.
The technology was invented by Mr. Seldon Bailey in 1859, and by 1870 the company was making a half-million wringers each year. At the turn of the 20th century, most American homes had some sort of laundry ringer device. These models were the top of the heap.
It all ended in the 1920s when electric washing machines came onto the market. This nice example, which is missing the crank handle, was priced at $125. We have seen similar listed for sale at prices ranging from $100 to $300.
-- Terry K. Maurer, Tri-Cities personal property appraiser, is a member of the Certified Appraisers Guild of America. For possible use in a future column, direct questions on your antiques and collectibles to What's It Worth? by email to email@example.com.