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Encyclopedia Dubuque

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Affiliated with the Local History Network of the State Historical Society of Iowa, and the Iowa Museum Association.




ANDREAS, Alfred Theodore

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ANDREAS, Alfred Theodore. (Amity, NY, May 29, 1839--New Rochelle, NY, Feb. 10, 1900). Andreas lived in Dubuque from 1857 to 1860 before moving to Illinois. Following his discharge from service in the CIVIL WAR, he took advantage of the growing interest in the publication of maps and atlases by becoming a salesman for the firm of Thompson & Everts that published individual county maps, modified for county residents, and sold on subscription. Local subscribers received a map that included their name among the list of subscribers as well as being shown on the a small plat of the land they owned in the county.

Andreas realized that individual township maps including information of landowners, businesses and towns at additional subscriber costs could be published and sold even to those who had purchased the county maps.

In 1869-1870 Andreas founded Andreas, Lyter & Company in Davenport, Iowa. The firm compiled an estimated two dozen county atlases from 1871 to 1875 with great profit to their company.

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Based on his experience, Andreas believed similar profit could be made from statewide atlases. His company reorganized and moved to Chicago. The company's atlas to Minnesota resulted in a financial loss. An Iowa atlas, Illustrated Historical Atlas of the State of Iowa, however, was sold to 22,000 subscribers. The atlas contained county maps, plat maps of 44 towns, over three hundred pages of pictorial subjects, biographical sketches, short state and county histories, the 1870 census, and a list of the atlas' patrons. Whether the Iowa atlas was a profitable venture has been debated. The company's atlas of Indiana was a failure.

Andreas' company reorganized several times between 1876 and 1884. He produced a three volume History of Chicago, but that too was probably a financial failure. He never again found a profitable occupation. His earlier vision of township maps showing property owners, however, was continued by others through 2011.

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Source:

Bergman, Marvin; Horton, Loren; Hudson, David. The Biographical Dictionary of Iowa. University of Iowa Press, Iowa City, 2008