SynChronological Chart

In going through our collection of atlases, volunteer Steve Pavlik found this amazing chart of history.  “Adams SynChronological Chart or Map of History” is an example of the popular “stream of time” charts of the latter half of the Nineteenth Century.  These charts show history as a river with each nation as a tributary.   Most such charts are the size of wall map, but Sebastian C. Adams’s chart is nearly 22 feet long!


Time is marked along the bottom of the chart, with red vertical lines indicating each 10 year period.  Each nation or people is represented by a different  stream.  In the ancient world, each monarch is given a different color.


The stream of history is surrounded by illustrations of buildings, events, and historical people.


Adams’s history is based in part on the work of Bishop James Ussher of Ireland who, in the seventeenth century, had calculated the date of creation based on the date of the death of Nebuchadnezzar II and the lifespans of the early prophets as October 23, 4004 BC.  Ussher’s chronology was often included in editions of the King James Bible, and so it was well known in the English-speaking world.

067                     073

As various nations conquer each other, their streams run together.  The image of the Roman Empire show this nicely:


And here is the break-up of the Spanish Empire with the independent countries of the New World branching off.

Admas chart Spain

At the end of the chart he provides this excellent illustration of the growth of the United States.

Admas chart US

Rich in detail, it’s easy to get lost in the panels of Adams SynChonological Chart, so here’s on more piece to admire.



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