Every day we get a new chance to learn something new. Does the name of Bernard Ratzer say anything to you? It might. I had never heard of it though.
I just read this story in the New York Times of a 241 year-old map of the city of New York that has been discovered and found in a pretty bad condition and restored to such a good state that is almost hard to believe.
It was discovered among other maps and maps and prints that were warehoused at the Brooklyn Historical Society. Map cataloguer, Carolyn Hansen, started to unfurl the crispy, tattered and brittle map, she heard it rip. She didn't keep pulling, but enough of the map was open to reveal a name: Ratzer. The name of Bernard Ratzer is invoked as something of a Da Vinci of New York cartography, and the map was an early edition of his best-known work: a Bernard Ratzer “Plan of the City of New York” in its 1770 state.
It is, no doubt, a great discovery. But what is most amazing about it is how brilliantly the restoration went, as you can see in the picture. You can click on it for more a bigger size, but for a more detailed view try this interactive feature in the New York Times in which both maps, before and after restoration (as it is now behind plexiglass), can be viewed in detail. And if you are interested in the details of the restoration process, you can also check the full NY Times article out.