Vivid Publishing, Inc.
Lost Stream Map
The story of how the first stream and lake map came into being begins with the late Howard Higbee, who spent 30 years drawing a map that became known to anglers as the "Lost Stream Map."
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Rave Reviews
"It's an angler's dream, a masterpiece, a map that contains streams you won't find on other maps. The possibilities for exploring new waters are endless when you fathom the scope of the map."
--George Smith
The Times Leader, Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania

"It is amazingly detailed and names some creeks in the Mohawk Valley that can't even be found on topographic maps."
--John Pitarres
Utica Observer-Dispatch, Utica,
New York

"No matter how enamored with maps you are, you've never seen a map like Professor Higbee's Stream Map of Colorado."
--Dave Buchanan
The Daily Sentinel, Grand Junction, Colorado

Professor Higbee'sŪ Stream & Lake Maps

Press: Stream & Lake Map of Pennsylvania




Highly Detailed Map Based on

Famous “Lost Stream Map”


FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: --Williamsport, PA.--Howard Higbee spent most of his 30 year career drawing 45,000 miles of Pennsylvania streams onto a 3-by-5-foot map.  Then the original drawing and printing plates were lost!  Long thought to be unreproducible, this rare fisherman’s possession is now updated and back-in-print.


     Higbee developed the legendary Stream Map of Pennsylvania, a chart so detailed that the tiniest and remotest waterways--mere capillaries on the Pennsylvania landscape--show up in living color.


     Every stream is there.  Not a single one is left out. 


     This is the so called “Lost Stream Map” that many fishermen have been searching for.  Even the former President of Pennsylvania Trout Unlimited, William Kodrich, is quoted as saying, "I've been looking for a copy of the ‘Stream Map of Pennsylvania’ for over 10 years.”


     Higbee, who was a soils scientist and Pennsylvania State University professor, personally charted and hand-drew Pennsylvania's 45,000 miles of streams on his map.  Starting with many large topographic maps and aerial photographs, he reduced them again and again, drawing in each stream under high magnification.  Then, to check distances, he modified his car's odometer to measure miles in 500ths.


     Finally, in 1965, after three decades of work, Higbee completed his “Stream Map of Pennsylvania,” as it came to be known.  Fishermen, conservationists, foresters and others with a stake in the great outdoors all wanted copies.     


      The map sold extremely well.  But after a printing company reproduced 70,000 copies of Higbee's marvel over the next several years, the company went out of business--and destroyed the original drawing and the printing plates.  Because existing copies had been printed in non-photographic blue, it was impossible to make new printing plates from them.


     Higbee considered redrawing all 45,000 miles of streams. But his advancing age--he was in his seventies--made this an insurmountable task.  So it appeared that the great “Stream Map,” now widely known as the “Lost Stream Map,” was doomed to a life span equal to that of the existing limited copies.


     How valuable were the surviving copies?  One person offered Professor Higbee $400 for his last copy of the map.  The Department of Environmental Resources kept its one remaining copy under lock and key.


     Two decades later, in 1991, Larry Seaman and Karl Ings, of Vivid Publishing Company in Williamsport, came across a dog-eared copy of the map and made inquiries that led them to the Professor, then 91.  When he told them his story, they decided to do what National Geographic and other experts said couldn't be done: reproduce and republish the map.  Higbee added, “At this stage of my life there isn’t much I really want or need.  But seeing the ‘Stream Map’ available to the public again is one thing that would make me happy.”


     So, with Higbee’s help, Vivid began a search for the lost drawing and printing plates.  They located a few surviving relatives of the printer, bankruptcy court records and attorneys also provided a few leads.   A conversation with the man that actually cleaned out the bankrupt printer’s building and hauled all of the printing plates to the Baltimore Landfill ended this avenue of the search in a dead-end.


Then came a stroke of luck.  Entirely new printing technology emerged that would allow reproduction of non-photographic blue.  At least that was the claim.  Seaman and Ings made test proofs, prepared to be disappointed with the results. 


“But the results were much better than we expected,” Ings said.  “All the details were there, crisp and clear.  And we knew at that moment that Howard was going to live to see the republication of the “Stream Map.”         


      Professor Higbee did indeed live to see the resurrection of his legendary masterpiece.  Before he died at age 93 in 1993, the new version of the map had won rave reviews from newspapers across Pennsylvania--and the thanks of thousands of outdoors persons who are now using it as a reference tool.


     Before his death, Higbee supported Seaman and Ings desire to map the streams of other states by sharing his map making techniques with them.  The two made many visits to the Professor’s home near the PennState campus, Higbee was always prepared for each visit with notes on 3-by-5 cards, as if he were giving a lecture.  Then, by combining Higbee's knowledge with computer technology and a team of map makers, the Michigan map was completed in just over one year.


     “We now have state Stream Maps in Higbee’s trademarked cartographic style, with his incredible level of detail,” Ings said.  Seaman said, “To honor Howard, the maps carry his likeness and the title “Professor Higbee's Stream Maps.”, a constant reminder of his high standards for detail, accuracy, and quality.”


     The 3-foot-by-5-foot Pennsylvania map is available both rolled and folded at $19.95 each.  Also available is a special edition in heavy gauge clear, write-on-wipe-off lamination, with brass eyelets for hanging (rolled) at $39.95 each.  Add $7.50 shipping and 6% sales tax per order. A free guide book is included with each map.


Available at or from Vivid Publishing, Inc., 924 Funston Avenue, P.O. Box 3174, Williamsport, PA  17701.  Phone orders call 1-800-326-9694.




CONTACT: Larry Seaman or Karl Ings at 1-800-326-9694.

PHOTOS/press releases are AVAILABLE at the bottom of the previous page - 

#1  Professor Higbee working on the map in 1965

#2  Professor Higbee reviewing a proof of new map, 1991.

#3  Professor Higbee with huge fish.

#4  Ryan Ings, map maker, landing a big fish at his favorite secret fishing spot.

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