Today in Vintage Books: A Beautiful Nature Atlas of America’s Ecosystems


I found this beautiful vintage nature atlas in the local bookstore in July and bought it for myself on my birthday. My pictures aren’t the highest quality, but I wanted to convey how beautiful this book is. The jacket is pretty much wrecked, so I plan to fix up the book itself as best I can and keep it as a coffee table book. It’s the kind of atlas I would have poured over as a child, so I hope to preserve it for my own kids.



Hammond’s Nature Atlas of America was published in 1952. Inside it holds 320 paintings of animals, insects, rocks, and flowers. At the time of its publication, it was a beautiful and comprehensive look at the natural history of North America. Below are two of my favorite snippets from the book:



The book answers questions for the curious reader, such as “Where are mountain goats to be seen?” (Northern Rockies) and “Where can I see a mountain of glass?” (Yellowstone, apparently – Obsidian cliff).


I am thrilled to have found this little treasure and especially happy it happened for my birthday. I shared these photos in the hope of inspiring others to roam through their local bookstore and discover the gems tucked away in the corner. Look behind that old, torn jacket and find the beautiful book underneath.

Happy reading!

Published by Sarah Olson Michel

Science writer, book reviewer, and cat enthusiast.

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