The Lindgren Bros. Hysterical Grand Coulee Maps

As the auto industry grew exponentially in the 20s and 30s, a new America was being created. The people wanted destinations, and during the New Deal it was a time to focus on employment, the end result being the creation of multiple State Parks throughout the country.

In Spokane, two artistic brothers saw a new way to make a buck, they called them Hysterical Maps and they made one for most of the major parks throughout the 1930s thru the 1940s. The series of maps have since become collectors items and reproductions can still be found for sale almost 70 years later. It’s easy to see why though, the maps contain pleasing aesthetics, valuable historical glimpses as well as timeless humor that still stands up and generates a snicker decades later.

The brothers released their first map in 1932, it was of Spokane County and an immediate success, going to print several times. In the following years more maps were released, usually of national parks, but during this time the Lindgren Brothers produced three maps of the Grand Coulee Dam area. The maps show the changing landscape and pre-filling of Banks Lake, exposing forgotten townships, roads, railroads and other places and things of historical value. Self admitted, the maps are a bit ‘cockeyed’ in some places, meaning not 100% accurate. After all, they were created more for entertainment as the family rolled down one of America’s new highways off to an adventure in a foreign land. The Lindgren Brothers Hysterical Maps had just enough fun to entertain the kids in the backseat and were accurate enough to get dad to his destination.

1937

1937

1940

1940

 

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