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Sanborn Map Co. Ltd.

The Sanborn Map Company was named after its founder, Daniel Alfred Sanborn, a civil engineer and surveyor, who began creating detailed fire insurance maps of US towns & cities in 1866.  The maps were created to allow insurance companies to assess their total liability. They contain detailed information about properties and individual buildings, and the atlases in total cover approximately 12,000 U.S. cities and towns. The maps were manually updated using paper overlays to reflect new construction and changes of use; Sanborn employed "pasters" or "correctors" for this purpose who would visit subscribers' offices to paste these additions on top of the existing maps. Sanborn held a monopoly over fire insurance maps for the majority of the 20th century, but the business declined as US insurance companies stopped using maps for underwriting in the 1960s. The last Sanborn fire maps were published on microfilm in 1977.