Wednesday, January 11, 2017


John G. Drury (1907-1988) created a series of "Mem-O-Maps" for World War II soldiers. To kill time on the ship returning from the Pacific he used his experience with Army charts to draw maps of Japan with scenes known to GI's. The map featured bright colors, amusing images and optimistically removed all sense of devastation.

Fellow soldiers asked for their own copies. By the time they landed ashore he had sold 232 copies* of these maps and came home with an idea to turn this into a business. The legend had blank spaces with instructions on how a soldier could customize the map with their own details.
He created maps for Japan, Korea, the Philippines, Hawaii and Europe. Some details from the Europe map include someone pissing on Germany,
and this detail of Paris showing a naked woman symbolizing the La Roulotte night club along with a pig next to an alley referencing the Pigalle neighborhood where the club was located.
*These images and information are all from Barron Maps. For more maps and much more detail about Drury and his company see their blog.

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