Vegetable Market Chart
Availability of Produce in Washington, D.C., 1801–1808
In Jefferson’s hand.
Jefferson’s chart was published in the 19th century—see Publication of Jefferson’s Vegetable Market Chart (below).
Below is an interactive rendition of Jefferson’s Vegetable Market Chart. Clicking on an icon (⊕) will allow a text block to appear with more information about that produce item. As it is a complex visualization, it may take a few moments to load.
Publication of Jefferson’s Vegetable Market Chart
Jefferson’s visualization of the availability of produce in Washington during the two terms of his presidency has long attracted interest. In 1842, it came to the attention of the editors of Hazard’s United States Commercial and Statistical Register, who printed it reproducing Jefferson’s bar-graph format. The publication’s editors described the chart as “simple in its form, and, at once, perfectly intelligible.” Jefferson was following the example set by his friend Joseph Priestley, who in A Chart of Biography (1765) and A New Chart of History (1769) established the model of using horizontal lines or bars to represent spans of time in a chart.
“Vegetable Market at Washington,” Hazard’s United States Commercial and Statistical Register, 6 (1842), 409.
Daniel Rosenberg and Anthony Grafton, Cartographies of Time (New York, 2010), 116-26, 150-1.
For Library of Congress blog postings on the market chart, see “The President and the Parsnip: Thomas Jefferson’s Vegetable Market Chart (1801–1809),” 15 April 2015, and “Teaching with Thomas Jefferson’s Vegetable Market Chart,” 9 June 2015.