Martin Waldseemüller

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     Germany issued a very special mini-sheet in April 2007 to commemorate the first use of the name "America" to designate the continents of the western hemisphere. The cartographer, Martin Waldseemüller, designated the southern area as "America" in honor of Amerigo Vespucci, and explorer who explored the east coast of South America between 1497 and 1504. The map was made by Waldseemüller in 1507.  Of the 1,000+ copies of the map that were made only one is known to have survived, and it was lost for almost 350 years.
     It was found in 1901 by Joseph Fisher in a book which belonged to Johann Schöner. It was acquired in 2003 by the United States from Prince Waldburg-wolfegg for $10 million and now is preserved in the Library of Congress.

SCN 2439

    The map was printed on 12 panels which were to be assembled into a single map 8' by 4'6". The name "America" appears in the lower, left-hand panel on the stamp, and again on the bottom margin of the mini-sheet.


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