The 1889 London Underground Tube map
Originally, the development of the London Underground was taken by many different companies, so for a long time there was no specific map showing all routes. You’ll notice these are different from the modern map as they are not schematic and the stations are just overlaid on a normal map of the terrain. Therefore, these older maps would have been made by normal traditional cartographers.
The 1908 Tube Map
This was the first time a combined map was published, thanks to the separate companies forming a conglomerate called the Underground Electric Railways Company of London (later absorbed into the TFL we know and love). You’ll notice this still has the traditional map outlines of the overland terrain.
The 1926 Tube Map
This map was designed by a man called Mcdonald McGill and was the first map to have a blank background instead of being overlaid on top of the overland terrain. Good going, Mcdonald; if you’re underneath it anyway who gives a shit where the Thames is.
Harry Beck’s 1933 Tube Map
This is where it really kicks off. This may no doubt be familiar to anyone who has travelled around London because it’s the traditional schematic diagram you’re used to looking at to get around. All this means is that geographical location and distance is sacrificed in order to make the locations, transfers and overall context easier. You try using the 1926 to get around instead of this; you might as well try and divinate with tramp puke.
1960’s Tube Map
Swinging London’s developments
Real life Map of the Underground stations.
See? Looks like you’d be trying to navigate with shoelaces.
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