I’m visiting a friend in Geneva next week and looking forward to seeing some mountains. I live in the flattest part of the UK and miss the mountains and seas. That is why I decided to curate a collection of fabulous vintage mountain sketches and mountain diagrams.
Growing up, I lived on the top of a mountain, albeit a small one, in Hong Kong. Then I met my husband, whose family is from Norway, famed for its mountainous terrain. We then spent many a winter holiday skiing in the French Alps.
As a family, we do miss the mountains and given a choice; my boys will choose a holiday to the mountains over anywhere else.
I love to decorate my home with attractive vintage scientific illustrations and have gathered a collection of vintage mountain sketches and diagrams to combine this passion with my family’s love of mountains.
I know framing the mountain pictures and creating a gallery wall in my hallway will go well with my husband and boys.
Vintage Mountain Diagrams and Illustrations To Download
The Mountain Sketches and Mountain Diagrams
An excellent map of the principal mountains and rivers of the world. The hills are at the bottom of the map, with important cities and geological formations noted at their appropriate elevation.
This mountain diagram also has the bonus of showing the world’s major rivers. The rivers are shown along the top of the mountain, descending from the seas to their sources – where known.
The Missouri and Mississippi River systems, at 4100 miles, are listed as the world’s greatest rivers and Dhaulagiri, at 26262 ft., is the world’s tallest mountain. The mythical Mountains of the Moon are noted as the source of the Nile.
This map diagram is by the American geographer Samuel Augustus Mitchell from the 1850 edition of Mitchell’s New Universal Atlas.
If you are looking for some amazing river maps check out the colorful Mississippi River Maps of Harold Fisk.
A beautiful sketch of the world’s major mountains. The mountain diagram has an excellent key, labelling the significant mountains. The legend includes the main peaks of the British Isles and each continent. The major volcanoes of the world are also on the mountain diagram.
The mountains are drawn to scale, which is what I love about this mountain sketch. This makes it so easy to compare the heights of the significant mountains by just looking at the diagram.
Also, a wealth of information is contained within this illustration. Wonderfully detailed drawings of some of the world’s major cities and landmarks showing their elevation above sea level are included. The mountain diagram also indicates the maximum height for various tree species.
This mountain sketch was drawn by James Reynolds and John Emslie for the book “Mountains” published in 1851.
This mountain diagram shows the significant mountains of Scotland. My mother’s side of the family is Scottish, and they would love this beautiful mountain painting.
My husband and sons all went on a trip a few years ago to climb Ben Nevis. Ben Nevis is the highest mountain in the British Isles. It is 1,345 meters high and in the Scottish Grampian Mountains.
The mountain painting is by D. McKenzie & W.H. Lizars from the book “A Comparative View of the Heights of the Principal Mountains of Scotland” in 1831.
This mountain diagram details the world’s great mountains in relative proximity to one another and divided by continent.
Each mountain is numbered and links to a reference list below the chart proper, naming each mountain and its elevation. The key also notes important cities, mines, volcanoes and geographical locations, including the Great Pyramid.
The highest mountain in North America is Mexico’s Popocatepetl; in South America, it is Chimborazo; in Europe, Mont Blanc; in Asia, Dhaulagiri; and in Africa, the Atlas Mountains of Morocco.
As this mountain map is from 1826, it is before the discovery of Everest, Kilimanjaro, Mt. Kenya, and Mt. McKinley (Denali), hence their omission. The colourful mountain sketch is from the 1826 edition of Finley’s New General Atlas.
Another comparative mountain diagram shows the world’s greatest rivers as of 1823. This comparative chart is supposedly the first example to depict mountains and rivers on the same diagram.
It is by William Darton and W. R. Gardner’s 1823 “New and Improved View of the Comparative Heights, of the Principal Mountains and Lengths of the Principal Rivers in the World“.
The mountains sketch occupies the lower right half of this chart. The details of the principal mountains of the world are noted. The Himalayan peak Dhaulagiri is identified as the world’s greatest mountain.
The world’s mountain ranges are colour coded on the chart to show different vegetation types. The elevations of several important cities, including Paris, Rome, London, Geneva, Mexico, Bogota, and Quito, among others, are also noted.
In the upper-left portion of this chart, the lengths of the rivers are given along with their course and sources. Further details along each river, such as essential lakes, cities, directions, and distance measurements, are noted.
At 3600 miles long, the Amazon is identified as the world’s greatest river, followed by the Mississippi at 3530 miles. As its full length had yet to be explored, the Nile came fifth on the list.
This is an 1825 map “Carte des Principales Montagnes du Globe“.
On this chart, the mountains are divided into the Western Hemisphere mountains ( on the left ) and the mountains of the Eastern Hemisphere ( on the right ).
It also includes the relative elevations of essential cities, monuments, etc. Unlike most comparative charts issued in the mid-19th century, this chart consists of a reference table as part of the map.
This is the 1864 edition of Johnson’s mountain diagrams and rivers chart. The world’s great mountains and rivers are divided by continent.
Kilimanjaro is identified as the highest mountain, and the Nile is the longest river in the Africa section. The Great Pyramid is drawn to scale along with the mountains as a lovely little touch.
Everest, at 29,000 feet is recognized as the highest mountain in Asia and the Yangtze as the longest river.
Mont Blanc is Europe’s highest mountain, and the Volga is recognized as the longest river. In South America, Tupungato, at 22,450 feet, is identified as the highest mountain, and the Amazon is the most significant river.
North America was still not fully explored when this map was published. The mountain chart lists Mt. St. Elias, of the Canadian Yukon, as the highest mountain, followed by the Popocatepetl and Orizaba volcanoes of Mexico. This is somewhat reversed from actuality, with Orizaba being the highest at 18,504 feet, followed by Elias at 18,009 feet, and Popocatepetl at 17,930.
At this time, neither Mount McKinley (Denali) nor Mount Logan, the actual highest peaks of North America, had been measured. Even so, Johnson correctly recognized the Mississippi as the continent’s longest river.
When I came across this mountain diagram of the British Islands, I had to look up the word eminence. It’s defined as a position of prominence and a natural elevation.
Therefore this mountains diagram is a sketch of natural elevations within the British Islands, such as hills and mountains.
This is an amazing illustration of the World’s mountains. I warn you it is a large file but it would look fabulous on a gallery wall of mountain sketches.
It’s titled “Picture of Organized Nature as Extending over the Earth” by Charles Smith.
A beautifully coloured sketch of mountains of the world that not only compares their heights but their shape too. It’s a French illustration by Ambroise Tardieu.
Educational geography poster illustrating the world’s mountains and volcanoes.
The major mountains are shown for each of the world’s continents (except Antarctica). The chart includes other exciting details, such as when certain 19th Century explorers climbed the mountains.
Major Mountain Cities are also named, including Denver, Leadville, Animas Forks, Mexico City, Toluca, St. Bernhard, St. Gothard, Birmingham, London, Chambury, Cashmere, Darjeeling, Dangoutre and Pamachun.
If you liked these fabulous mountain diagrams and sketches then you might want to check out some of these other wonderful copyright free pictures.
- Antique World Maps to download
- Vintage Nautical Prints
- Vintage North Pole Maps
- Constellation Map Posters
- Ernst Haeckel Prints of Fabulous Nature Art
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