On September 8, 1965, the Kansas City Times started its 98th year of publication. The biggest story that morning was how Hurricane Betsy was pounding Florida. The storm was over 600 miles across, had hit Miami Beach with 81 m.p.h. winds, and crashed 20 foot waves near Fort Lauderdale, wreaking damage to roads, homes, and businesses.
Fires, a hazard of the industrial revolution, often caused uninsured property owners to suffer great financial loss. To protect against such calamity, fire insurance companies sprang up all over the U.S. Policy writers, however, could not always inspect properties in person. In 1866, D. A. Sanborn, an enterprising surveyor in Massachusetts, began creating specialized maps to help under-writers evaluate the risks.