Saturday, July 4, 2009

Mystery Solved

Remember this sign from a few posts back? Well, it's been eating away at me that I haven't been able to figure out what the "S & O" mean. I have Googled just about every imaginable search term possible, but kept striking out. The lady I bought it from said it was a former 'department' in the vicinity of Paris. Departments are administrative boundaries, similar to a state. I assumed that if this was a former department, it must be on some old map of France. The trick was to find the right map. The other logical options were that the lady was pulling my leg in order to make a sale, or just didn't know what she was talking about.

About 30,000 Google searches later, I happened upon the following map. It is from Putnam's Handy Volume Atlas of the World. Published by G.P. Putnam's Sons, New York and London, 1921. Hopefully, you can click on it and then zoom in to where you barely can read the "Seine et Oise" department name over the fold in the center of the book. But, there it is.

From Wikipedia, I absorbed some additional information for all you history and geography buffs, or those just anticipating such elusive questions at the next LeRendezvous Quiz Night. Here's what the Wiki masters have to say:

Seine-et-Oise was a département of France encompassing the western, northern, and southern parts of the metropolitan area of Paris. Its préfecture (capital) was Versailles and its official number was 78. Seine-et-Oise was abolished in 1968. Seine-et-Oise was created on March 4, 1790. Its name comes from the two main rivers (Seine River and Oise River) flowing through it.

Behind every sign, there's got to be a story.

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