The purpose of Sanborn maps was to assist fire insurance agents in determining the degree of hazard for a particular property by showing the size, shape, and construction of buildings, windows, doors, sprinkler systems, and roofs; the widths and names of streets, property boundaries, building use, and house and block numbers; and the locations of water mains, fire alarm boxes, and fire hydrants.
UCLA's Sanborn map collection consists of atlases and microfilm covering limited portions of Los Angeles from 1906 to 1970 (date coverage varies by volume).
For more information, see the Library of Congress' Sanborn Fire Insurance Maps website.
Significant contributions to the fire insurance map industry are exemplified in the following maps. They are listed in chronological order of creation and publication.