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Description:This original early scarce antique folding, pocket map of The London Underground, only the second combined map, by The Underground Electric Railways Company of London (UERL) was published by Johnson, Riddle & co. in 1908.The first map was published a year earlier by The Evening News in 1907.This geographic paper edition of the Underground map shows the Railway lines belonging to the Underground Group as well as the Central London Railway and Metropolitan Railway lines. Each line is represented by a different colour, other railways are marked with lighter black lines, London United tramways are shown by lines of crosses and other tramways routes are marked with a broken line. General geographic features such as roads and parks are also included. Earl's Court Exhibition Ground is marked on this map as well as the Franco-British Exhibition at Shepherd's Bush. This map has a green border and the UndergrounD logo is used in the map title.
General Definitions:Paper thickness and quality: - Heavy and stablePaper color : - off whiteAge of map color: - OriginalColors used: - Yellow, green, blue, pinkGeneral color appearance: - AuthenticPaper size: - 13 3/4in x 11 1/2in (352mm x 290mm)Plate size: - 13 3/4in x 11 1/2in (352mm x 290mm)Margins: - Min 1/8in (2mm)
Imperfections:Margins: - Folds as issuedPlate area: - Folds as issuedVerso: - Folds as issued
Background:As Londons early transport system was operated by a variety of independent companies, there were no complete maps of the network, just for the individual companies routes. The maps were not typically schematic and were simply the line overlaid on a regular city map. There was no integration of the companies services or any co-operation in advertising.In 1907, The Evening News commissioned a pocket map, The Evening News London Tube Map. It was the first map to show all of the lines with equal weight being given to each line, and it was the first map to use a different colour for each line.Another early combined map was published in 1908 by the Underground Electric Railways Company of London (UERL) in conjunction with four other underground railway companies that used the Underground brand as part of a common advertising factor.The map showed eight routes – four operated by the UERL and one from each of the other four companies:UERL lines:Bakerloo Railway – brownHampstead Railway – indigoPiccadilly Railway – yellowDistrict Railway – greenOther lines:Central London Railway – blueCity and South London Railway – blackGreat Northern and City Railway – orangeMetropolitan Railway – redA geographical map presented restrictions since for sufficient clarity of detail in the crowded central area of the map required the extremities of the District and Metropolitan lines to be omitted and so a full network diagram was not provided. The problem of truncation remained for nearly half a century. Although all of the western branches of the District and Piccadilly lines were included for the first time in 1933 with Harry Becks first proper Tube map, the portion of the Metropolitan line beyond Rickmansworth did not appear until 1938, and the eastern end of the District line did not appear until the mid-1950s.The route map continued to be developed and was issued in various formats and artistic styles until 1920, when, for the first time, the geographic background detail was omitted in a map designed by MacDonald Gill. That freed the design to enable greater flexibility in the positioning of lines and stations. The routes became more stylised but the arrangement remained, largely, geographic in nature. The 1932 edition was the last geographic map to be published before Becks diagrammatic map was introduced.The first diagrammatic map of Londons rapid transit network was designed by Harry Beck in 1931. He was a London Underground employee who realised that because the railway ran mostly underground, the physical locations of the stations were largely irrelevant to the traveller wanting to know how to get from one station to another; only the topology of the route mattered. That approach is similar to that of electrical circuit diagrams although they were not the inspiration for Becks map. His colleagues pointed out the similarities, however, and he once produced a joke map with the stations replaced by electrical circuit symbols and names, with terminology such as Bakerlite for the Bakerloo line.To that end, Beck devised a simplified map with stations, straight-line segments connecting them, and the River Thames; and lines running only vertically, horizontally, or on 45° diagonals. To make the map clearer and to emphasise connections, Beck differentiated between ordinary stations, marked with tick marks, and interchange stations, marked with diamonds. London Underground was initially sceptical of his proposal since it was an uncommissioned spare-time project and was tentatively introduced to the public in a small pamphlet in 1933. However, it immediately became popular, and the Underground has used topological maps to illustrate the network ever since.Despite the complexity of making the map, Beck was paid just ten guineas for the artwork and design of the card edition (five guineas for the poster). After its initial success, he continued to design the Tube map until 1960, a single (and unpopular) 1939 edition by Hans Scheger being the only exception. Meanwhile, as well as accommodating new lines and stations, Beck continually altered the design, such as changing the interchange symbol from a diamond to a circle and altering the line colours of the Central line from orange to red and of the Bakerloo line from red to brown. Becks final design, in 1960, bears a strong resemblance to the current map. Beck lived in Finchley, North London, and one of his maps is still preserved on the southbound platform at Finchley Central station, on the Northern line.In 1997, Becks importance was posthumously recognised, and as of 2021, this statement is printed on every Tube map: This diagram is an evolution of the original design conceived in 1931 by Harry Beck.
The Underground Electric Railways Company of London Limited (UERL)The Underground Electric Railways Company of London Limited (UERL), known operationally as the Underground for much of its existence, was established in 1902. It was the holding company for the three deep-level tube underground railway lines opened in London during 1906 and 1907: the Baker Street and Waterloo Railway, the Charing Cross, Euston and Hampstead Railway and the Great Northern, Piccadilly and Brompton Railway. It was also the parent company from 1902 of the District Railway, which it electrified between 1903 and 1905. The UERL is a precursor of today's London Underground; its three tube lines form the central sections of today's Bakerloo, Northern and Piccadilly lines.The UERL struggled financially in the first years after the opening of its lines and narrowly avoided bankruptcy in 1908 by restructuring its debt. A policy of expansion by acquisition was followed before World War I, so that the company came to operate the majority of the underground railway lines in and around London. It also controlled large bus and tram fleets, the profits from which subsidised the financially weaker railways. After the war, railway extensions took the UERL's services out into suburban areas to stimulate additional passenger numbers, so that, by the early 1930s, the company's lines stretched beyond the County of London and served destinations in Middlesex, Essex, Hertfordshire and Surrey.In the 1920s, competition from small unregulated bus operators reduced the profitability of the road transport operations, leading the UERL's directors to seek government regulation. This led to the establishment of the London Passenger Transport Board in 1933, which absorbed the UERL and all of the independent and municipally operated railway, bus and tram services in the London area.