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Charles Minard's 1869 chart "the best statistical graphic ever drawn"
shows the losses in Napoleon's 1812 Russian campaign

Minard, Inspector General of Bridges and Roads, was a pioneer of the use of graphics in engineering and statistics.Edward Tufte calls it "the best statistical graphic ever drawn" and uses it as a prime example in The Visual Display of Quantitative Information. Étienne-Jules Marey first called notice to this dramatic depiction of the terrible fate of Napoleon's army in the Russian campaign, saying it "defies the pen of the historian in its brutal eloquence".  And Howard Wainer also identified this as a gem of information graphics, nominating it as the "World's Champion Graph".