52. Johnston, Alexander Keith (1804-1871) 

The Physical Atlas of Natural Phenomena.  Edinburgh and London: William Blackwood and Sons, 1850


The glacial system of Mont Blanc in the Alps, from Alexander Johnston, Physical Atlas, 1850.

The physical or thematic atlas was pioneered by German cartographers in the 1840s, inspired by the maps of Alexander von Humboldt.  Alexander Johnston was the first to produce an English thematic atlas, and in addition to showing geological, biogeographic, and isothermal maps, he has one called  “The Glacial Systems of the Alps.”, which is centered around the glaciers that emanate from Mont Blanc.  Interestingly, in the text Johnston mentions that moraines and striated rocks far removed from the present glacial system proves that glaciers were much more extensive in the past.  But he does not suggest that Great Britain was once subject to such glaciers.





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