Library of Congress gets unique flat earth map

Don Homuth, a former North Dakota state senator and current resident of Salem, Oregon, will donate the sole complete copy of the Map of a Square and Stationary Earth by Orlando Ferguson to the Library of Congress. Homuth was given the map by his eighth-grade English teacher John Hildreth who had received it from his grandfather. He didn’t realize it was the only one left intact until he contacted the LoC to arrange for the donation.

Robert Morris, senior technical information specialist in the Geography and Map Division of the Library of Congress, said they searched through 75 to 100 related maps before confirming they didn’t have a similar map in its collections.

“Probably very few copies were printed, and even fewer survived,” he said. [...]

“For years and years I had it folded away,” [Don Homuth] said. “It was a shock to hear it may be the only (map of its kind) in the world.”

The only other copy known to exist is in the Pioneer Museum of Hot Springs, South Dakota, Ferguson’s home town and the city where the map was first printed in 1893 (the same year the building that now houses the museum was built as a school). The museum’s copy, however, is missing the bottom of the map and footer [Edit: No it isn't! The Pioneer Museum's map is almost intact, but its left and right sides appears to have been trimmed and it's in overall poor condition] with Bible verses condemning “the globe theory” and the following irresistible offer from Prof. Orlando Ferguson:

Send 25 Cents to the Author, Prof. Orlando Ferguson, for a book explaining this Square and Stationary Earth. It Knocks the Globe Theory Clean Out. It will Teach You How to Foretell Eclipses. It is Worth Its Weight in Gold.

I have searched high and low but cannot, alas, find a copy of this most excellent book on the Internet. I can’t even find a quote from it, and I’d dearly love to read the explanation of how Ferguson’s earth is supposed to work. Just from looking at it you see that Ferguson espoused not just a flat earth, but a square earth with angels manning each of the four corners; however, the only explanations on the map itself are Biblical rebuttals of a spherical earth (the most adorable of which is a cartoon in the upper right margin depicting men clinging desperately to a swiftly moving globe), not affirmative defenses of Ferguson’s map.

It seems a less than fully honest rendering of the quadri-cornered earth concept. The earth itself, the continents and oceans, are arranged in a circle and only set against a square framework. The northern hemisphere is a convex mound in the middle of a concave bowl of the southern hemisphere, presumably a structure that solves the problem of why the oceans don’t fall off the edge of the flat earth like in that atrocious Pirates of the Caribbean sequel. Of course now there’s a whole new problem: how do you persuade the oceans to properly position themselves up the sides of the bowl to keep sub-Saharan Africa, Australia and South America from being constantly under water?

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Comment by Edward Goldberg
2011-06-20 04:53:41

I am astonished that the Texas Department of Education didn’t snap it up and then nail down the rights (immediate and derivative). Who – by the way – died and made Orlando Ferguson “Professor”? Inquiring minds want to know…

 
Comment by livius drusus
2011-06-20 06:45:42

Hey, he clearly professes things. He professes things all over that map!

 
Comment by Reverend Ryu
2011-06-20 11:55:19

If be “profess” you mean “ejaculate”, and by “things” you mean “insanity”; then yes, he clearly does profess things ALL OVER this map.

 
Comment by Steve
2011-06-20 12:59:56

I was expecting the map to be over 500 years old, before galileo’s tribulations and misfortunes. I can’t believe someone from the 19th century still believed in a flat Earth. And it was a professor??? Where did he get his education??? I wonder if his students gave him grief for it.

 
Comment by livius drusus
2011-06-20 15:41:13

If be “profess” you mean “ejaculate”, and by “things” you mean “insanity”; then yes, he clearly does profess things ALL OVER this map.

Assuming your substitutions, I, for one, am relieved that it’s only his insanity staining that poor, innocent map.

 
Comment by livius drusus
2011-06-20 15:54:54

I was expecting the map to be over 500 years old, before galileo’s tribulations and misfortunes. I can’t believe someone from the 19th century still believed in a flat Earth. And it was a professor??? Where did he get his education??? I wonder if his students gave him grief for it.

I tried to find more information about Ferguson but he’s just plain obscure. That “Professor” title could have been purchased or invented, so I wouldn’t assume he taught anyone anything.

There was a bit of a revival of flat eartherism in the second half of the 19th century. A variety of different religious sects and individuals who deemed themselves “Biblical astronomers” promoted some version of the idea.

 
Comment by bort
2011-06-20 19:17:36

Okay, fess up. Who else wants an elegant woodcarving of this map?

:yes:

 
Comment by livius drusus
2011-06-20 19:35:15

Oh. Mah. God. Me! I do! With different kinds of wood inlays for each continent! And some kind of wee men to move around! :boogie:

 
Comment by edahstip
2011-06-20 21:32:07

I could almost buy the concept of a bowl shaped Earth but draw the line at the notion that Orlando Ferguson is a giant disembodied head and shoulders floating in the void. That’s just absurd.

 
Comment by livius drusus
2011-06-20 21:39:20

The bowl shaped Earth is the only thing keeping the giant disembodied head from getting barreled over by the flying globe with the little guys pushing it. Unless it bounces off like a billiards combo.

 
Comment by edahstip
2011-06-20 21:43:15

Or maybe the bowl shaped Earth is the only thing stopping MegaOrlando from eating the little globe pushers. nom nom nom.

That would make a great animation.

 
Comment by livius drusus
2011-06-20 21:44:27

Terry Gilliam needs to get on that stat.

 
Comment by Blake
2011-06-21 10:13:57

To be fair, all of the Professor’s own words only seem to profess a square Earth, not a “flat” Earth; that word appears to come only from the article author.

 
Comment by Alphanumericaldisorder
2011-06-21 12:03:05

What!?!? No turtle’s underneath! Blasphemy!

 
Comment by livius drusus
2011-06-21 14:20:44

To be fair, all of the Professor’s own words only seem to profess a square Earth, not a “flat” Earth; that word appears to come only from the article author.

That’s because philosophically square earthers are a subset of flat earthers. Even the flat earthers who assume a disk give it some depth, after all. The world is still 3D.

The distinction between plane and disk models blur at the edges anyway. Ferguson is really operating on a disk model too. He just front by slapping corners outside of the world, and he cheats by not making the corners the cardinal points.

 
Comment by livius drusus
2011-06-21 14:21:56

What!?!? No turtle’s underneath! Blasphemy!

Give him a break. The man had a pamphlet worth its weight in gold to sell! The turtles are assumed.

 
Comment by Salvar
2011-06-21 16:21:30

Ooh… do you know what the rights are for that image? That would make a great contribution to Wikipedia.

 
Comment by Tony
2011-06-21 23:35:55

The pamphlet you’re looking for might be this:
The Square world : why people are being deceived on astronomy and religion.

Author: Orlando Ferguson
Publisher: Hot Springs [S.D.] : O. Ferguson, 1897.
Edition/Format: Book : English

It is listed at http://www.worldcat.com. The only library that seems to have a copy is University of California Riverside. You could arrange to see it via Interlibrary Loan from your local public library. You’re right it does not seem to be on the web – not all human knowledge has of yet been scanned in. :-)

 
Comment by livius drusus
2011-06-21 23:55:44

The publication date is 4 years after the map, I notice, so it could be a later elaboration of his theories rather than the original pamphlet.

Still, you have inspired me. I will attempt to secure this book via Interlibrary Loan and scan it myself. Thank you for looking it up. :thanks:

 
Comment by Jeff
2011-06-22 10:15:20

Here is a bit of family history for Orlando Ferguson:
“Orlando Ferguson and his family moved from southern Illinois to Howard, S.D. in 1880, where he was a practicing physician. Mrs. Ferguson was born, Margaret Ellen Douglas, October 7, 1856 at Baldwin, Orlando were married March 30, 1872.
After living in Howard several years they joined a caravan coming to the Black Hills. They traveled by covered wagon and when they came to the Missouri river at Pierre they had to camp for several weeks as the river was up and they could not ferry across. They first settled in the upper hills then moved to Hot Springs in June 1886. WHen the Catholican bathhouse was built Dr. Ferguson managed it for a Mr. Hungerford, one of the owners. He managed this bathhouse for several years then built his own bathhouse, known as the Siloam, which he and Mrs. Ferguson ran until about 1911. Dr. Ferguson always contended that the world was square and became known as Square World Ferguson.
To this union were born seven children: Olla, who married Lary Highley, William, Dee, Loyd, Harvey and Marie, who married George Battersby. A son John died in infancy. All of the family are buried in Evergreen Cemetery [in Hot Springs, SD] with the exception of William and Dee who are buried at St. Ausustine, Fl.”

I’ve taken a bit of interest in this story as I have a third copy that hangs on my living room wall.

 
Comment by Mike Anderson
2011-06-22 12:18:16

EG:

Most Texans would prefer a map like this one. Of course other folks have their own maps.

Nobody needed to die for that “professor” title. Even though I’m but a lowly Lecturer, every year I participate in graduation ceremonies, my school graciously dubs me “professor” in the program. Somehow, it never shows up in the paycheck, though… :evil:

 
Comment by Jeanie
2011-06-22 14:13:34

Hey, I also have one. It’s hanging on my wall also and I am looking at it as I write this!

Jeff, do you have more history of Hot Springs SD? I am interested because that is where my grandfather was born and raised. Oral SD which is a community just south of Hot Springs was named after my grandfather. I have struggled getting more information about his parents and would be interested in learning more.

Thank you for the information about Orlando Ferguson.

 
Comment by Jeff
2011-06-22 15:05:47

Jeanie,
I am from Oral!!! Email me at jspeaect@yahoo.com and I will be in contact!

 
Comment by livius drusus
2011-06-22 15:44:43

Okay this is now officially the best History Blog comment thread ever. Fantastic information from a family member, two more versions of the map, and an Oral reunion. :notworthy:

 
Comment by livius drusus
2011-06-22 15:46:08

Salvar, the image is courtesy of Don Homuth himself who posted it to the letters section of a flat earth parody site.

 
Comment by livius drusus
2011-06-22 15:52:25

Jeff, thank you so much for posting your family history. Does the Professor title spring from his having been a doctor, do you know? Were the bathhouses in Hot Springs like health spas? I assume they weren’t just simple “take a bath and use the outhouse for a dime” outfits, given the medicinal reputation hot springs had back then, and still have today, for that matter.

Is your copy of the map complete and is it an 1873 original printing? You wouldn’t happen to have the pamphlet too, would you?

 
Comment by livius drusus
2011-06-22 16:12:12

Mike, :lol: @ both those maps. I’m partial to the ancient Roman ones where the world is composed of the Empire and a few stubborn outliers best not delved upon.

I’m sure you profess all kinds of things in your lectures. You need to start a Local 41 Lecturers-and-other-almost-Professors-who-get-the-title-on-graduation-day-but-not-the paycheck. A people! United! Can never be defeated!

 
Comment by Jeff
2011-06-22 16:27:05

You are welcome, but just to be clear, I am not related to Mr. Ferguson, just relayed a bit of his family history. Not sure were the “professor” bit comes into play.

In regard to the bathhouses – the were for medicinal purposes. The naturally warm mineral waters have been used for centuries in the Hot Springs area.

My copy of the map is an original that I found in my grandparents trunk in a barn years back. Mr. Homuth’s map is in a little better condition than mine, but the map is complete and in much better condition than the other that I have seen. It is quite beautiful in person…the original coloring is quite nice.

 
Comment by livius drusus
2011-06-22 16:35:00

How absolutely dreamy. I would love to have such a beautiful and quirky map on my wall. You and Jeanie should get together and have a map playdate. Two of them in the same room would be cause for celebration indeed.

 
Comment by edahstip
2011-06-22 21:10:57

I feel compelled to reveal that I am also not related to Professor Ferguson.

 
Comment by livius drusus
2011-06-22 21:37:40

Your denial only confirms what we all suspected, Prof. edahstip.

 
Comment by edahstip
2011-06-22 22:27:43

Wouldn’t that be Ross. edahstip?

 
Comment by John Turner
2011-06-23 16:15:16

It looks like Orlando Ferguson may have been an actual professor.

The Square world : why people are being deceived on astronomy and religion
“Lecture by Orlando Ferguson, delivered at Peterson’s Grove, Sept. 20, 1896″–P. [1].

Contents: Our 2,520 years of blindness
– We Americans are not Jews nor Gentiles, but part of the lost tribe of Israel
– We are to go back to Palestine and build up Jerusalem
– The pyramids of Egypt
– The dark ages and the beast
– Divine healing
– Which is the right church
– The square and stationary world
– How to foretell eclipses.

 
Comment by Jim
2011-06-23 17:01:05

Hi All, I’m this year’s president of the Fall River Historical Society – who operates the Pioneer Museum. We’re all having fun with this. One note, though – the copy in the museum is in poor shape, but it is complete with Bible verses and the “irresistable offer.”

 
Comment by livius drusus
2011-06-23 17:32:33

It looks like Orlando Ferguson may have been an actual professor. [...]

“Lecture by Orlando Ferguson, delivered at Peterson’s Grove, Sept. 20, 1896″–P. [1].

I’m not sure the lecture confers legitimate professorial status. What was Peterson’s Grove, do you know? Google was not helpful since it’s a place name.

 
Comment by livius drusus
2011-06-23 17:35:47

Hi All, I’m this year’s president of the Fall River Historical Society – who operates the Pioneer Museum. We’re all having fun with this. One note, though – the copy in the museum is in poor shape, but it is complete with Bible verses and the “irresistable offer.”

What a pleasure to have you posting on this comment thread. :) I’ve edited my entry to include your correction. Thank you kindly.

So do y’all happen to have the elusive pamphlet too?

 
Comment by Don Homuth
2011-06-23 19:31:29

I have a large (65 Mb) scan of the map on disc that I had done when the map was professionally archived and conserved. If someone would be willing to help me recover the cost of having it digitized, I’d be willing to make a disc available for US$10.00 plus S&H. Certainly the total would be no more than US$15 or so. (I had one done about 5-6 years ago for a shirt-tail relative of Ferguson’s in Hoxie, Arkansas, but I understand she has since died.) It prints out full-size in true color and high resolution – 31.25 x 21.25.

It pleases me that folks are enthusiastic about this image. It also pleases me to know that the bottom portion of the one in the museum is Not gone. The images on the web have not shown that. It’s good to know.

My copy however is in really good condition, considering that it was printed on tissue paper and is 118 years old. It is so brittle that it breaks if it’s handled. Which is why my wife and I want it to go to the LOC.

 
Comment by Don Homuth
2011-06-23 19:35:00

If the book should show up, I would be More than pleased to ensure that it also gets to the Library of Congress. The map and the book really ought to be together after all these years.

 
Comment by livius drusus
2011-06-23 19:54:17

Don, I would be honored to remunerate you for the digitization. Please email me using the contact form and we’ll make arrangements.

Thank you for commenting. I find it thrilling to see the great response the map has received, and I’m just a bystander.

 
Comment by Don Homuth
2011-06-23 23:02:08

For all the fun folks have been having, here’s something spooky to add to the discussion:

http://www.landoverbaptist.net/showthread.php?p=767354

You’ve heard from these folks before, but not on something like this.

Be afraid! Be very afraid.

 
Comment by peggy
2011-06-24 00:39:44

Hi Jeanie,

Please contact me. I live at Oral, SD.

 
Comment by Rawley
2011-06-24 00:56:41

Landover Baptist is a parody site. :) It’s not spooky.

 
Comment by livius drusus
2011-06-24 01:03:14

I thought he was just playing along.

 
Comment by Don Homuth
2011-06-24 09:23:52

I had my leg thoroughly pulled, as I found out this morning. The joke is on me, and I’ll get back at the guy who did it, I promise.

Yeah — it’s a parody. And a Very good one!

 
Comment by Jim
2011-06-24 12:50:46

The Pioneer Museum has a photo-copy of the pamphlet — and the Hot Springs Public Library has an original (the only original that I know of). The pamphlet was printed in 1891 following a series of lectures delivered by the “Professor” at the Morris Opera house. Professor Ferguson had a design for the map at that time and included it in his pamphlet, but it seems that he didn’t get around to printing the map itself until 1893.

I am fairly certain that the Professor was not a real “professor” in any academic sense of the word, but he did “profess” to know the truth.

It is less certain regarding his standing as a physician. When you look at online reports, he was often called a physician, but I have not seen any record of his having graduated from any medical school. On the other hand, he did own (at different times) several “medicinal” bath houses, and his obit, while not mentioning physician, does refer to him as “Dr.” The following is a copy of the Professor’s Obit from the Hot Springs Star 1911:

“Orlando Ferguson – After two years of sickness and suffering, Orlando F. Ferguson quietly and peacefully passed away at the home of his daughter, Mrs. L. S. Highley, in lower town, Friday noon, February 3, 1911.
Orlando Ferguson was born near Duquoin, Il. Nov 6, 1846, being a few months more that 64 years old. He spent his childhood and early life in that state. In 1872 he was married to Margret Douglas at Baldwin, IL. Mrs. Ferguson and six children, Will, Olla, Dee, Lloyd, Harvey and Marie survive him. With his family he came into Dakota in the early 80.s, first living at Canova and afterwards at Howard. In 1886 he came to the Black Hills, driving across by the Pierre route, and decided to cast his lot in Hot Springs. After a few years in the grocery business he bought the present site of the Catholicon and Siloam Springs and built the Catholicon Hotel moving his family into what is now the family home. Suffering the loss of the Catholicon property by fire, which had made famous, in 1893 he turned his attention to the building of the Siloam Springs and Sanitarium. Being always downhearted over his Catholicon loss he longed for different places in which he thought he might meet with success and went to Thermopolis, WY and later finally settled at San Diego, Ca. where he bought and been running the Silver Gate Bath House, until he was taken sick about two years ago. His sons, Lloyd, Dee and Harvey have been with him at different times helping in his work.
The doctors in California pronounced his trouble asthma, coursed by the altitude so he returned to Hot Springs on May 20, 1910, where he has since been. While at the Siloam last spring he was helped and able to be on the streets and visit with old time friends during the summer but in August he failed again and has since been quite feeble. The last time he attended any public gathering was during the Buffalo Gap Fair, where he spent a day at the Gap. Mrs. Ferguson is spending the winter months with her sons, Will and Lloyd, who are in California and Harvey is working in the St. Charles Bath House in Hot Springs, Arkansas, so they were unable to attend the funeral.
Funeral services were held at the home of Mr. and Mrs. L. E. Highley where Dr Ferguson had been living since fall, at 9:15 Sunday morning conducted by Rev. D. D. Tallman. A large attendance of friends was present notwithstanding. Rev. Tallman spoke impressively of the life and habits of Dr. Ferguson, choosing for his discourse, the book of Job, the favorite book of the deceased. The Presbyterian choir rendered sweet and beautiful music. Pallbearers were, Capt. Phillips, L. LaPage, W. R. Morgan, A. D. Goddard, W. Mcgowan and S. L. Kirtley. Mrs. George Miller, a niece, from Edgemont and old time friends, Mr. and Mrs. H Robinson of Andrews, Nebraska, were in attendance with the bereaved. The remains were interred in the Evergreen cemetery.
Hot Springs Star Feb 9, 1911

Also a shameless plug — visit the Pioneer Museum online at http://www.pioneer-museum.com and on Facebook Pioneer Museum, Hot Springs.

Hope everyone is having fun with this.

 
Comment by Don Homuth
2011-06-24 20:10:31

Is the Hot Springsd Public Library in the least bit interested in donating the original book to the Library of Congress? It certainly should go there, seems to me. The map And the book are more together than they would be separately. If it is, I would be more than happy to pay the cost of having a true copy scan of it made, having it appropriately bound for its own collection.

If you would run that by the Library Board, I would be grateful. If you agree at all with the idea, better someone local to float it by than someone “not from around here.”

Let me know if there is any interest at all, please.

 
Comment by Laural
2011-06-25 15:17:50

Hi There – there is a copy of the pamplet at the Hot Springs, SD library also.

 
Comment by lupalz
2011-06-25 17:00:27

Does this means there are no copyright restrictions? I’d love to print that map on a t-shirt. Could you dump the high-res file on a dropbox folder, to avoid shipping a cd to Europe?
65Mb is not that much on a cable connection

 
Comment by Don Homuth
2011-06-25 18:27:01

While I’d surely like to get at least partial reimbursement for the roughly $85 it cost me to have the Very High Resolution scan of it made, I do sincerely doubt that a T-shirt would do justice to that much resolution. I’ve left a 2+ Mb scan on several websites, which I suspect for T-shirt purposes would do every bit as well.

I sort of intended the VHR scan for my own use and for those with a genuine interest in reprinting the map in full size, which is 31.25 x 21.25. I’ll make that one available for $10 plus S&H within the US, which will include the disc, box and postage. I can make special arrangements for Europe, but in order to keep that VHR scan off the net and able to be sent pretty much anywhere to anyone, I’d as lief not send it electronically.

I trust you understand. I’m not going to make any money off the VHR scan, but if I could get my costs back down to something reasonable, that’d sure be good.

That having been said, I don’t have and don’t intend to get a copyright on it. It’s history and should be shown more than it has been in the past 118 years. I put it out there in the public domain knowing that the smaller scanned image could go most anywhere, including T-shirts and whatever.

Doesn’t bother me if someone does that. I should hope that Orlando would be smiling.

 
Comment by livius drusus
2011-06-25 19:45:09

I can confirm that the large scan included in the entry above works fine on a t-shirt. I just tested it and it’s more than big enough. :yes:

 
Comment by Don Homuth
2011-06-26 10:06:35

If someone does decide to do a T-shirt run, I’d appreciate a notification. It’d be fun to have one or two of those.

 
Comment by mike
2011-06-26 22:13:56

Professor of Divinity

 
Comment by Tyr
2011-06-27 07:00:29

Don, if you don’t want people to share your scan why not put it up on a site like Zazzle.com ? It allows you to sell poster prints (or t-shirts and whatnot) without ever having to give out the source file to strangers.

 
Comment by livius drusus
2011-06-27 20:29:06

That’s a good idea, Don. I’d be glad to help you set up a Zazzle store, if you’d like. There are people all over the web who have expressed a desire for a poster or t-shirt of the Square and Stationary Earth. You’d probably make back your digitization costs fairly quickly.

 
Comment by Don Homuth
2011-06-27 23:25:08

A useful idea and a very generous one. The map gets shipped out tomorrow via one of those services that ships artworks around the country. It will be a relief having it secure. I’ve been mildly concerned since the matter got loose in the news media. Let’s discuss this after it leaves. I may take some pictures of them packing it up. And fwiw, the original reporter from the Forum in Fargo ND called me up this morning to do a followup on the discovery of two more copies, the book and the lecture notes. Which seems quite reasonable. I sent her the e-mail copies as evidence that the discussion has come along quite unexpectedly positively. Sorta fun!

 
Comment by livius drusus
2011-06-27 23:33:16

I’m sure you’ll enjoy a nice, restful sleep for the first time in a week once the delivery service takes possession.

It’s amazing how the story has taken off. I’m very much looking forward to reading the follow-up article, and to seeing your pictures of the packing. Please do take them! One rarely gets to peek behind the curtain to see the nuts and bolts of how museums handle delicate artifacts.

 
Comment by David Hecht
2011-06-28 09:04:51

Since I’m a map geek, I had to take a run down on the publisher shown in the lower right hand corner of the file graphic shown above. Louis H. Everts of Philadelphia was pretty well known, but the time of this publishing (1893) was apparently not active in Philadelphia. This could easily have been a second (or third) run.

There are a few interesting bits of information about the esoterica Mr. Everts was printing about this time:

http://www.stonybrook.edu/libmap/coordinates/seriesb/no11/b11.htm

Your contribution has certainly moved the internet.

 
Comment by Jeanie
2011-06-28 13:13:27

Hi Mr. Homuth, I sent you an email a couple days ago. I would like to purchase a digital copy and need your mailing address. Also, the reporter just contacted me also for the follow up story. This has been an exciting couple of weeks! Thanks for getting it all started.

 
Comment by livius drusus
2011-06-28 14:05:59

There are a few interesting bits of information about the esoterica Mr. Everts was printing about this time:

link

What a fascinating character. Two of his primary publishing interests — maps and religious references — came together to make sweet magic in Mr. Ferguson’s masterpiece. I suspect that we owe the handsome design of this map to one of Mr. Everts’ team of draftsmen. That would explain its professional atlas look, which I doubt Mr. Ferguson would have been able to produce on his own.

Your contribution has certainly moved the internet.

All props go to that anonymous draftsman for making the Square and Stationary Earth look so damn cool.

Thank you kindly for sharing of your nerdery. :thanks:

 
Comment by livius drusus
2011-06-28 14:09:04

Also, the reporter just contacted me also for the follow up story. This has been an exciting couple of weeks!

It really has, even for we spectators who don’t happen to have one of the few remaining copies. I can’t wait to read this article. :boogie:

 
Comment by Jeff
2011-06-28 19:11:57

Hi Jeanie…did you get a chance to visit with Peggy??? I’m curious to know if you’ve learned anything. The reporter contacted me also yesterday…what fun this is! I should have the lecture tomorrow sometime…can’t wait to read Orlando’s words from the past!

 
Comment by livius drusus
2011-06-28 20:00:25

I can’t wait to hear your impressions of them! This is history nerd paradise right here. :boogie:

 
Comment by Don Homuth
2011-06-29 11:50:01

Good news and Bad news:

* The map was packed up yesterday and is now on its way to the LOC. It should be there by the end of next week, so I’m told. The truck doing the shipping must stop by some art museums here on the Left Coast and pick up some other stuff. I can say they packed it Very carefully indeed.

* Please forgive my lack of specific concentration on other matters, but I got word yesterday that a very close friend of mine back in Fargo ND died suddenly on Sunday. I am, to be honest, quite sad about that and just don’t feel much like doing anything for the nonce. I am at That Age, where good friends die, leaving one to ponder matters greater than maps. I’ll get to things in just a tad.

Meanwhile, news story

 
Comment by Jeanie
2011-06-29 12:50:26

Jeff, I sent Peggy and email but she has not responded yet. I do hope she can fill in some of the blanks for me. Thanks for keeping in touch. And stay cool today as the weather map looks beastly hot there today!

 
Comment by Don Homuth
2011-06-30 13:06:46

OK — got over the shock of my friend dying, got the appropriate memorial sent back to his family, and Life(tm) can now continue.

Just got off the phone with the LOC. They are Most delighted with how this has all turned out. I am advised that if an original copy of the book cannot be donated directly, that they would be more than pleased to get a PDF true copy of the book and whatever lecture manuscript folio might be available. If those involved with tracking those down are interested in doing that, have at it. I would be pleased to chip in for the cost involved.

(This whole thing is starting to feel sort of personally proprietary, even though I know it’s not really.)

Internal to the LOC is an office of science/technolgy that has, over the years, compiled a bunch of the flat earth theory information for research purposes. They found out about this specific map via the Web, and not through internal notification. They are most pleased at the trove of new information now being unearthed too.

The formal presentation is going to be made some time in September. My wife and I are working to schedule the dates, and when it’s finalized I will inform folks hereon. It will, as such things are (in campaign season) probably involve a couple of congresscritters (a la Pogo) and other significant dignitaries who want a photo op.

I do want to discuss other matters, and will once I get the rest of today going.

My wife and I take no Personal credit for all of this. We just sort of fell into it, and it’s all happening with its own momentum. But it surely is fun.

 
Comment by livius drusus
2011-06-30 15:13:25

I’m so sorry to hear about your friend, Don. My condolences to you and his loved ones.

I’m glad there’s such lovely, fun and interesting news to offset the bad. I’m going to contact the Hot Springs Public Library to see if we can score a scan of the pamphlet, at least.

You and your wife should take personal credit for donating so beautiful and rare a piece in the first place, and then for sharing the excitement with the rest of us, both in the press and by keeping us posted here. I’ve been doing this blog for a long time, and I can assure you nothing like this has happened before. I am extremely grateful. Thank you.

Now we have the formal ceremony to look forward to! I can hardly wait. :boogie:

 
Comment by Peter Abrahams
2011-06-30 20:42:04

On a history of astronomy discussion group (HASTRO), a comment was made that this map is not flat at all. While it is titled ‘square’, the square seems an arbitrary cutaway from a larger surface, to fit onto the paper.
The map itself is an inverse toroid.
It is difficult to speculate what the significance of this would be; but it is a far more interesting projection than a flat earth. Perhaps the book describes the reasoning.

 
Comment by Jeff
2011-06-30 20:46:18

I will be in Hot Springs this weekend and am going to try to make a stop at the library to see the elusive manuscript!!!

 
Comment by livius drusus
2011-06-30 21:23:40

On a history of astronomy discussion group (HASTRO), a comment was made that this map is not flat at all. While it is titled ‘square’, the square seems an arbitrary cutaway from a larger surface, to fit onto the paper.
The map itself is an inverse toroid.
It is difficult to speculate what the significance of this would be; but it is a far more interesting projection than a flat earth. Perhaps the book describes the reasoning.

From what I’ve read, there are a number of different proposed shapes included under the general umbrella of flat earth theories, including disks, semi-spheres and parallelograms. All of them have some depth to them, of course, or else there would be no mountains and valleys, so flat earth is probably a misnomer even for schematics that are not as sophisticated and interesting as Mr. Ferguson’s.

 
Comment by livius drusus
2011-06-30 21:25:45

I will be in Hot Springs this weekend and am going to try to make a stop at the library to see the elusive manuscript!!!

Ooh, you simply must! I heard back from the Hot Springs Library Director and she says they definitely have it safe and sound in their collection. Bring a camera! :boogie:

 
Comment by Pelle
2011-07-07 13:05:49

haha! this is the TimeCube earth of the 19th century

 
Comment by Les
2011-07-09 13:47:05

The original Flat Earth was just a plain cast or core map of the orignal quads on flat blank paper, then the land mass’s were placed in their proper position in the quads. Then of course they could tax every square inch and place the proper boundries. Then the flat map was applied to the round Earth. It all took steps in time and it’s a shame people do not realize the real story behind the original idea of the Flat Earth.

 
Comment by Jeff
2011-07-10 16:01:21

Don

Congratulations on getting the map shipped off to the LOC. I’d be interested in getting a high resolution scan of the map. I’d like to print it out as poster. Please let me know where I can reach you if you’re still interested in sharing the map. jeffsrule at gmail dot com.

 
Comment by Don Homuth
2011-07-19 12:26:10

For the past several weeks I have been Most busy doing a raft of things, all of which need not be referenced here. This is the season of car shows, and those take a lot of time. The most historical/hysterical thing was the purchase of a 1959 Cadillac Sedan deVille. (I’m a motorhead among other things.)

Anyway, got this missive this morning from the LOC:

Good Morning all,

Moments ago, I took delivery on the framed, “Map of the Square and Stationary Earth” from our fine arts shipper, ARTEX. It is now headed to the vault in the Geography and Map Division.

Thank you.

Peter Stark, Gift Coordinator
U.S./Anglo Division
Acquisition & Bibliographic Access Directorate
Library of Congress

So, to our considerable relief, the LOC now has it safe in their hands.

I will be getting back to folks in the next serveral days on requests, etc. The “summer” here has been rainy and cool, and the weeds have taken advantage of their early head start and are outstripping my/our capability to deal with in the garden. Have hired some help, but it still takes time.

Be patient, all. Things are coming along nicely.

 
Comment by Eric J.
2011-11-12 13:43:03

There is another copy of Ferguson’s map on display at the Adams Museum in Deadwood, South Dakota. As I recall it is also complete. Several years ago I tried to get the museum to duplicate it and sell them in the gift shop.

 
Comment by Sean Elkins
2012-06-03 00:09:45

Yes there is indeed a complete copy in the Adams Museum in Deadwood. I just saw it this week, and a Google search on it is what led me to this site. The copy I saw was is great condition.

 
Comment by Amaia Chaplin
Comment by livius drusus
2012-08-29 15:35:26

Wow, in London no less. I wonder how it got there.

 
 
Comment by Bert de Vries
2012-10-22 09:27:04

I can’t believe someone in the 21st century still believes in Creationism!

 
Comment by Markel
2012-12-17 01:57:17

After all of this and I do mean a lot. Does anyone have a pdf copy of Orlando Ferguson book yet?

 
Comment by Jim Baldwin
2012-12-30 20:45:13

Now back off, Edward, let Kansas have a grab for it. I thought we got rid of that round Earth theory when we outlawed evolution.

 
Comment by vlad
2013-08-09 01:14:56

I’d like to have the high resolution image!!

How can we arrange it?

Email me pls

 
Comment by Matt Gordon
2013-10-28 16:01:21

:no: Those folks are sad and scary.

 
Comment by TzaBY
2014-01-01 16:40:44

I have located where a copy of the book/pamphlet but it is only available to view in person and doesn’t seem to have a pdf copy of the book available….here is a link to what I have found and would love to know of any access to a physical copy or pdf to read and view. Shalom and YaH Bless.

http://scotty.ucr.edu/search/o17496100

 
Comment by Joe Gilman
2014-01-10 14:03:03

If this thread is still active I will offer what I have. Here is a picture of Orlando Ferguson posing with an “Atlas of the World” that looks like a map on a clock face. This looks to me like either an early version of his square earth map or (more likely) something he acquired that became the model for his detailed map.

https://picasaweb.google.com/jdgilmanjr/OrlandoFerguson?authkey=Gv1sRgCJqjoa-JsrD6Cg#5967339784985795474

He was married to my great-grandfather’s sister. I have several old family photos, including both bath houses, but nothing further related to his map. I did not know about the square earth map until I found it online. My grandmother knew his daughters, her cousins, but we lived in another state and I never heard about any of this. [If this link doesn't work I will try something else.]

 
Comment by John Stockwell
2014-05-05 04:51:56

:cool: My name is John Stockwell and I fell upon this site while investigating Flat Earthers theory. I know this post was from 2011, but nonetheless, I would love to help you recover your expense of having the map digitized. How would I get in contact with you regarding getting a copy of the digitized map?

Thank You.

John Stockwell five0three 50seven 42nine5

 
Comment by Jeff s
2014-06-03 23:55:46

I have a PDF of the publication from UCRiverside. I can email it to you.

 
2014-06-25 08:58:56

if The holy Bible is true then how this concept of square Earth isn’t right!!!
I think the Concept Of Square Earth is true…
For More Information about this theory please open these link- http://www.welfareoftheworld.com

 
Comment by Steffen
2014-09-18 04:05:04

Hello Jeff,
I am also very interested in reading more of Fergusons “professions”, but since I live in Europe, it is kinda difficult for me to visit a Library that owns a copy of his book. Is it possible that you send me a PDF too?
Kind regards,
Steffen

 
Comment by Cherylynn
2014-10-18 13:14:20

ME TOO!!!!!!!!!! :yes:

 
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