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The Universalis Cosmographia (1507): The First Time America Was Named On A Map

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In April 1507, German cartographer Martin Waldseemüller (11 September 1470 – 16 March 1520) became the first person to use the word ‘America’ in a document, namely his Universalis cosmographia secundum Ptholomaei traditionem et Americi Vespucii aliorumque lustrationes (The Universal Cosmography according to the Tradition of Ptolemy and the Discoveries of Amerigo Vespucci and others).

North America is called ‘Parias’  – ‘America’ is used to  label the South American coast all the way down to the present-day port of Cananéia, Brazil.

 

1507 Universalis Cosmographia

The map is made of 12 woodcuts

 

1507 Universalis Cosmographia

The east coast of South America, the first known instance of “America” being used on a map

1507 Universalis Cosmographia

1507 Universalis Cosmographia

1507 Universalis Cosmographia

1507 Universalis Cosmographia

1507 Universalis Cosmographia

1507 Universalis Cosmographia

1507 Universalis Cosmographia

1507 Universalis Cosmographia

1507 Universalis Cosmographia

1507 Universalis Cosmographia

1507 Universalis Cosmographia

  • njguy54

    Considering the relatively crude tools they had, 16th century cartographers did a pretty good job.