An electric map that became a landmark of sorts for people visiting the Civil War battlefield in Gettysburg. Pa., is being auctioned off online after National Park Service officials determined it was outdated.
The bidding for the 12-ton map depicting Union and Confederate troop movements over the course of the July 1-3, 1883, battle, which many historians say marked the turning point in the war, started Tuesday at only $5, reports the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
With its blinking lights, the 29-by-29-foot topographical map, was a major draw for tourists and historians for more than 46 years. Constructed in 1962 of wood, steel and, plaster at a cost of $100,000, it was initially placed in a local family-owned museum. The park service bought the museum’s property in 1971 and moved the map to the visitors center. In 2008, a new visitors centers was built, and the old map, which was in deteriorating condition, no longer seemed to fit in.
"It is an interpretive device that is outdated and has been replaced with exhibits, films and programs in the [new] museum and visitors center," park service spokeswoman Katie Lawhon said Tuesday.
In addition, officials with the General Services Administration raised concerns about potential health risks associated with the asbestos sealant covering the map. They cautioned that any buyer would likely have to have the sealant removed just to be safe.
The auction is being handled online at gsaauctions.gov. To make a bid, simply type in "electric map" in the search field.
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