Martin Waldseemuller, the cartographer, thought he was naming a newly discovered continent-sized island in the western Atlantic "after the ship's captain who discovered it," one Amerigo Vespucci. His misconception- on a 1507 map whose sole surviving copy cost the Library of Congress $10 million and is now on display there- has been called America's birth certificate.
Martin Waldseemuller, the cartographer, thought he was naming a newly discovered continent-sized island in the western Atlantic "after the ship's captain who discovered it," one Amerigo Vespucci. His misconception- on a 1507 map whose sole surviving copy cost the Library of Congress $10 million and is now on display there- has been called America's birth certificate. Library of Congress / MCT
Martin Waldseemuller, the cartographer, thought he was naming a newly discovered continent-sized island in the western Atlantic "after the ship's captain who discovered it," one Amerigo Vespucci. His misconception- on a 1507 map whose sole surviving copy cost the Library of Congress $10 million and is now on display there- has been called America's birth certificate. Library of Congress / MCT

Now showing: Map that gave America its name

February 26, 2008 02:12 PM

UPDATED February 26, 2008 07:39 PM

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