Sanborn Maps

These high resolution early fire risk assessment insurance maps depict the industries and business and nearby surrounding residences. The Sanborn map company was a subsidiary of what is still today the Hartford Insurance company. The maps accurately depict

  • Building footprints
  • Building material by color (adobe, stone, brick, frame, metal)
  • Height or number of stories
  • Doors, windows, chimneys, elevators
  • Address and lot lines
  • Use (dwelling, hotel, church, chicken coop, etc.)
  • Street widths, water pipes, hydrants and cisterns

The 1896 map shows two sets of street numbers, as the street numbering in the Borough was revamped about that time: which provides an important link between the old and current numbers.

This link takes you to the Penn State Libraries Digital Map Drawer for Catasauqua site where you can select from electronic images for the years 1885, 1891, 1896, 1902, 1908, 1913. The next year available in the Penn State archives is 1942 and is still under copyright (not availble for viewing online). Each set includes multiple maps. The 1908 and 1913 sets also include maps for surrounding towns and associated industrial sites. Each page is quite large (7-8MG).  The legend for the maps varies by year and location, but a typical legend can be accessed here.