The Porcineograph of 1875: A “Pork Map” Of America

Bacon lovers, behold: The Porcineograph of 1875, designed by the Forbes Lithographic Manufacturing Company of Boston for a grand pork-themed rager commemorating the Battle of Bunker Hill. What better way to celebrate America than to paint its portrait as a giant hog, with Maine as its snout and Florida as its hoof and Cuba as a quivering sausage below?

This celebration of swine took place at sewing machine magnate W.E. Baker’s Ridge Hill Farm in Needham, Massachusetts. In addition to celebrating the centennial of the Battle of Bunker Hill, fought nearby, the celebration kicked off a new “Sanitary Piggery” at Baker’s farm. Baker, obsessed with public health and the pure food movement, was rumored to give his sanitary pigs their own little pig beds and silk sheets, free of mud and slop. He believed this pristine approach to food production would inspire the hogging industry to clean up its act. All 2,500 guests at this party received copies of the magnificent porcineograph as a “Good-Cheer Souvenir.”

Plump hogs frolic around the map’s border, paired with a state coat of arms and a pork-based dish from each region. These won’t be converting vegetarians anytime soon: Wisconsin’s “Boiled Hog’s Heads, Hulled Barley, and Blood Pudding,” Dakota’s “Mess Pork and Pancakes,” and Florida’s “Turtle Soup and Pickled Trotters” make the Other White Meat sound like vicious Viking fare.

You can buy a reprint of the Porcineograph as a poster for $25.95 here.CD