La Famille Delamarche : Éminents Géographes du XIXe Siècle

The Delamarche Family: Eminent Geographers of the 19th Century

The 19th century witnessed many notable figures in the field of geography and the Delamarche family is one of them. This dynasty of geographers, made up of Charles François Delamarche and his son Félix Delamarche, participated in the dissemination of the geographical knowledge of their time. In this article, we will delve into the lives and achievements of these two eminent 19th century geographers.

Charles-François Delamarche, the pioneer of the Delamarche family

Charles François Delamarche, born in Paris in 1740, led a remarkable life, between politics and geography.

In 1770, he began his activity as a geographer, thus marking the start of an exceptional career. From these beginnings, we will remember in particular some very beautiful globes. However, his notoriety only really took off in 1786, when he bought the collection of maps of the famous geographer Didier Robert de Vaugondy, which had been sold to Jean-Baptiste Fortin in 1778. Delamarche exploited this collection by calling himself a geographer and by presenting himself as the “successor of Robert de Vaugondy”. This strategic acquisition allows him to build his own cartographic business.

Detail of a world map by Félix Delamarche

Detail of a world map by Félix Delamarche

But Charles François Delamarche was more than a distinguished geographer. In 1791, he also became a member of the 2nd electoral assembly of Paris. He died on October 31, 1817 in Paris, leaving behind a great legacy for geography.

Félix Delamarche, the continuation of the Delamarche family legacy

Félix Delamarche, son of Charles François, continued the family legacy with dedication. He began working alongside his father at the publishing house in 1811, contributing to the expansion of the family business. Following the death of his father in 1817, he took over the reins of the publishing house and took charge of the production of maps, atlases and globes.

Félix Delamarche was a mechanical engineer renowned for his terrestrial globes and geographical spheres. His technical skills made it possible to improve the quality of the globes produced by Delamarche, which were very popular at the time.

Globe directed by Félix Delamarche

Globe directed by Félix Delamarche

Félix Delamarche died in 1835, but this did not end the activity of the publishing house. On the contrary, it continued to prosper throughout the 19th century thanks to the solid foundations laid by the Delamarche father and son.

Delamarche's family works and their posterity

The Delamarches are widely recognized for their contributions to the field of 19th century cartography and geography, but it would seem that their main contribution lies in their ability to disseminate this knowledge.

Their atlases have enjoyed undeniable fame. Used in universities and schools of the time, these works contributed to the geographic education of generations of students.

The Delamarches will also remain famous for their exceptionally precise globes. Their reputation as manufacturers of superior quality globes elevated them to the rank of reference for navigators, explorers and researchers of the time.


The Delamarche family, made up of Charles François and Félix, left an indelible legacy in the world of geography in the 19th century. Their contributions to the field of cartography, their dedication to geographic education, and their expertise in globe-making made them preeminent geographers of their time. Their works continue to be admired and studied, testifying to the lasting impact of their work on the science of geography.

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