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Gulf Stream The Mapping of the Current
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Hispaniolae, Cubae, Aliarumque Insularum Circumiacientium, Delineatio on a sheet with Culiacanae, Americae Regionis, Descriptio. Publ. in Theatrum Orbis Terrarum.
Ortelius, Abraham (1527-1598)
1584

This shows only the Florida Straits portion of the map that occupies the lower one half of a two sheet folio map. The lower half shows the West Indies northern portion as well as the tip of Florida.

East of Terrae Floridae pars is a description “Canalis Bahame, versus Septemtrionem Semper fluit.” Or “Bahama Canal, toward north always flows.” This is the oldest widely circulated descriptions of this current which has had various names, such as Bahama or Florida channel or current or stream, and finally Gulf Stream.

The map maker is anonymous so the map is attributed to the publisher Ortelius as were so many of his maps. He was one, if not the most, prolific map maker of his time and his maps are still among collectors' favorites.