John Arrowsmith (1790 - 1873)
Scarce map of the Flinders Ranges showing the tracks of Captain Edward Charles Frome, Royal Engineer and third Surveyor-General of South Australia.
Frome had arrived in the colony in September 1839 and undertook extensive surveys of the country areas around Adelaide, allocating sites for roads and secondary towns. The Flinders Ranges had been surveyed by Edward John Eyre in 1839 who proposed that Lake Torrens was part of a large horseshoe-shaped salt-pan lake which would prevent exploration into central Australia. Frome attempted to break through the lake barrier in 1843 and discovered what he believed to be the eastern part of Lake Torrens but was in fact a separate body of water, later named Lake Frome. This map shows Lake Frome in the top right, to the east of the ranges, with the label ‘L. Torrens’. The myth of the horseshoe lake persisted until Gregory’s expedition in 1858.
From Journal of the Royal Geographical Society. Rare. MCS 76 68
John Arrowsmith (1790–1873)
Arrowsmith was an important English cartographer who flourished at a time of rapid British colonial expansion.
Arrowsmith was born at Winston, County Durham. In 1810 he moved to London and worked his uncle Aaron Arrowsmith in his mapmaking business in London. After his uncle died in 1823 he set up on his own account. A founding member of the Royal Geographical Society 4th August 1830 and became unofficial cartographer for the society for forty three years. He took over the old Arrowsmith premises at 10 Soho Square after the death of his cousin Samuel Arrowsmith in 1839, buying the old Arrowsmith plates, manuscripts and copyrights at auction.
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