The mention of Sanborn maps in the McCrackin Distillery thread seemed to beg for a further explanation of what these remarkable maps are. Not limited to the whiskey industry, Sanborn maps were produced for over a century (1867-1970) by the Sanborn Map Company. More than 660,000 Sanborn maps chart the growth and development of more than 12,000 American towns and cities. Sanborn maps are large-scale plans of a city, town or commercial facility (like a distillery), drawn at a scale of 50 feet to an inch. They were created to assist fire insurance companies as they assessed the risk associated with insuring a particular property. The maps list street blocks and building numbers including numbers in use at the time the map was made, and previous numbers.
I have seen many of the distillery maps and the originals are works of art. Individually hand made, they are color-coded with the shapes of buildings and other structures cut out from color paper and afixed to the maps. At the scale described above, the map for a large distillery would cover a wall.