Kansas City and its surrounding lands have inspired – and starred in – some fine fiction. Some of the authors in this roundup of locally grown novels disguise their native habitat, while others name it outright. Still other authors call KC home and drop their characters in foreign lands or challenging moral situations.
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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.