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Articles about B.J.S. Cahill's
Butterfly World Map

The New York Times' nod to Cahill:

Waldemar Kaempffert,
"True World Maps:
Cahill Projections Drawn Like Patterns for the Globe"

GK note:  When discussing Buckminster Fuller's 1943 Dymaxion map, I stated that most cartography books and writers barely mention Cahill, and if they do, include very small and poorly drawn illustrations. Nor did Cahill fare much better at the hands of a friendly journalist. As if in rebuttal to Bucky's map debut in Life magazine of March 1, 1943, The New York Times on March 14, 1943, published an article by its science editor Waldemar Kaempffert in praise of Cahill’s map, without mentioning Fuller! However, the article amounted to a swan song for Cahill, who died the next year.

An earnest piece in itself, Kaempffert’s article was out of context and nearly ten years out of date. It also had a tiny illustration of Cahill’s rather confusing 3-in-1 version, which was easily overwhelmed by Life’s 11-page spread with 4-page color centerfold.

Out of context: because the article seemingly took on Mercator, rather than Fuller. Out of date: because it was largely a rehash (to put it politely) of Cahill’s own promotional writing from 1934 and earlier, with no indication of what the status of the map was (i.e., dying, like Cahill), and why it was momentarily plucked from obscurity for what was its final bow, before disappearing almost entirely from then till now.

PS: Waldemar Kaemffert was managing editor of Scientific American, 1900-1916, when one of the earliest pro-Cahill pieces appeared there in 1913; see further down this page. While Cahill had compiled and circulated many endorsements to him in correspondence by prominent persons, apparently Kaempffert was one of Cahill's only champions in print, and not a very effective one at that.

(I might add that I first came across Cahill in David Greenhood's 1944 book Down to Earth: Mapping for Everybody. He too gave Cahill a friendly nod and write-up, but not much more. Too little, too late.)

Below: The New York Times article was in very tiny print, so I am doubling its size in the jpeg below. The NYT illustration likewise was only half the size shown here.
Click once to see New York Times' original tiny size;
click twice to restore enlarged size.

Waldemar Kaempffert article

Source: Photocopy of NYT article in Cahill archives,
scanned and doubled in size by GK.

Scientific American lauds Cahill map as
"the best attempt so far to map the globe on a plane

[Waldemar Kaempffert?]
"Mapping the Sphere on a Plane"

Scientific American 1913-07-16 lauds Cahill Butterfly map

Source: Photocopy of Scientific American article in Cahill archives,
scanned and enlarged by GK..

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