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A History of the London Tube Maps

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The Wonderground Map of London Town 1914

Please note that if anyone knows different or finds a mistake, no matter how trivial, regarding the details given below, I would be glad to hear from you via the guest book on the home page (link above). You are also invited to leave your comments if you simply like what you see.

Copyright: Transport for London. Reproduced with kind permission of London's Transport Museum.


1863 - 1906

THE DISTRICT MAP OF GREATER LONDON AND ENVIRONS

Inset into an original geographical map, which is the same style as Britain's railway maps produced since the first railways in the 1840s, this map is a late example (1905) of how the earlier underground maps looked from 1863, when the first underground railway was opened, until around 1906.

It covers a wide area of London and the Home Counties and shows the routes of the "District Railways". Its physical size is so immense; being approximately 42 by 26 inches, it would have only been suitable for pre-journey planning; not an item that could have been opened out on a congested platform.

The key, difficult to read on this illustration, shows the lines for the District trains in red where other lines are in blue. Stations for steam trains are rectangular and those served by electric trains are shown with circles.

The map was published by Sampson Low, Marston & Company.

The congested central area can be seen in more detail by clicking on the image.

1905
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1889

Railway Plan of London and its suburbs

Many of the early maps were typically the type and size of the map shown above; large unwieldy and impractical to use while on a journey. There were, however, a number of guidebooks and street plans printed, something akin to today's A to Z. This map was printed in 1889, from one of those guidebooks entitled: "London and its Environs: Handbook for Travellers" by Leipsic Karl Baedeker, first published in 1878. We are informed in the preface that its chief objective is:
"to enable the traveller so to employ his time, his money and his energy, that he may derive the greatest possible amount of pleasure and instruction from his visit to the greatest city in the modern world."
The street plan and this map are bound in their own cover at the back of the book, which was ingeniously designed to be detached from the rest of the volume should the owner desire.

It shows both the District Railway and the Metropolitan Lines and their completed Circle Line, which resulted from a joint effort by the two companies to link their lines to complete a ring, opened just four years earlier in late 1884; at this time no other underground railways had yet been opened.

The main line railways are shown on this map in red and one can see main stations along the North of the Circle Line like Paddington, Euston, St Pancras and Kings Cross. It would be another ten years before The Great Central was to appear.

The map has the following inscription: Geograph. Anst. V. Wagner & Debes., Leipzig.



1889
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1902

CENTRAL LONDON RAILWAY

The Central London Railway was London's second deep-level tube line (as opposed to the sub-surface District and Metropolitan Railways), it ran below Bayswater Road, Oxford Street and High Holborn between Shepherd's Bush and Bank. It opened in July 1900, and quickly became known as the "Tuppenny Tube" on account of its flat fare of tuppence. The first map was issued around 1902 and featured the line in red super-imposed on a street-map. Other railways are shown in black.

Interestingly, the line is depicted as finishing at the western end in the generating station and depot although it is unlikely that any passengers would have wanted (or been allowed) to go there!


There is a plan of the subways, at Bank station, in a box at the top right-hand corner of the map; this has been enlarged here to enable a clearer view. Many years later, on the 11th January 1941, Bank station suffered a direct hit from a bomb that caused the roadway to collapse into the concourse leaving a huge hole at the intersection something the size and shape of the area shown in this plan.
See a photograph and other information about the history of this station, by clicking this link.



1902
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Click here to view the back of this map.

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1908

"UNDERGROUND"
London Underground Electric Railways
SWIFT AND SURE
THE WAY THROUGH LONDON
HOW TO TRAVEL IN AND ROUND LONDON

The titles on this map are numerous; it has to be seen to be believed. It also bears a unique and extensive graphical design.

This is one of the earliest examples of the use of the "UNDERGROUND" logo, which is displayed on the front cover and across the top of the map. The first evidence of this design was around the same time, where it was used on a 1908 post card produced by map printers, Waterlow & Sons. It is unknown whether this had been their own innovation or if the design was made at the request of the underground group; the logo however must have been subsequently adopted by them and was used in this form for over the next twenty-five years. The enlarging of the U & D was used until it disappeared from the printed maps in 1967.

Combined maps of the underground railways were first issued in 1906 when the railways, under the control of an American Financier (Charles Tyson Yerkes) known as the Underground Electric Railways of London (UERL), were put on a single map.

The first unified maps to include the lines of other companies were issued in 1907 when an agreement was made between the UREL and the other underground railway companies like the Central London, Great Northern and City, Metropolitan and the City & South London Railway. This 1908 map is one of the earlier examples of these unified maps. The Waterloo and City railway company did not participate in this agreement, hence the line is not shown in colour but in the category of "other railways".



1908
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Click here to view the reverse side of this map.

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1910

EVENING NEWS
*TUBE MAP*

Referring to the underground as the "tube" had been used in a number of earlier underground maps but the picture on the front cover of this map, sponsored by the London newspaper "Evening News", conveys the true concept of why it was known as the tube. Here we are looking down the tube into a station with a train at the platform.

It even represents, albeit loosely, a portrayal of the method of construction of the tunnels, being made up of iron segments, bolted together to make up the round lining of the tube profile. Here we see seven segments, each one representing one of the individual companies that operated the lines at that time.

1910
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1911

THE UNDERGROUND MAP OF LONDON

As mentioned above, under the 1908 section, the Waterloo and City railway company did not participate in the unified map agreement, although on this map the line is nevertheless shown. This was presumably in the hope that it would encourage more passengers to travel on the lines participating in the agreement by using the interconnections with the Waterloo and City Line.

The map was produced by the cartographers at Johnson Riddle & Co, and was the first map to include the Richmond terminus of the District and Metropolitan Railways as well as showing three separate stations at Hammersmith.

There is geographical distortion in the North West of the map, similar to that on the 1908 map, which flattens out and moves South the Metropolitan Line, to accommodate the title box.

The map produced the next year, in 1912, has no such distortion and makes an interesting comparison as it is the same size but truly geographical.

1911
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Click here to view a similar map from 1912

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1913

ELECTRIC RAILWAYS
WHAT TO SEE and HOW TO SEE IT
STATIONS EVERWHERE

This is the first example of a series of maps which depicted the Underground group bullseye symbol on the cover. The series showed the system out as far as Hounslow in the west and Wimbledon in the south. The geographical area has been expanded to incorporate the developing network into the suburbs and three extensions of lines can be seen as under construction.









1913
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1914

MAP OF THE ELECTRIC RAILWAYS OF LONDON
All About the System & Its Facilities

Although the war was expected to be over by the end of the year, the

quality of paper and print, on this map, reflect the economies that prevailed at these times. Only one colour has been used for each of the lines except for the Metropolitan Railway, which is depicted in red. Despite the economies, the map still appears to be directed towards the public travelling for pleasure, as on the rear of the map there are some quaint and intriguing pictures of sights around London along with details of admission fees and opening hours. There are also various small-scale maps showing greater detail of the routes to places of interest from the closest underground stations.

Interestingly, there is a Central London Railway extension shown as under construction to Gunnersbury, however, to this day, this extension has never been completed.





1914
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Click here to view the back of this map.

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1919

MAP OF THE ELECTRIC RAILWAYS OF LONDON
WHAT TO SEE & HOW TO TRAVEL

After a break of approximately two years, probably due to hostilities, this was the first map produced, following the end of the First World War.

Maps produced in the earlier years of the war were subjected to certain economies in the way of paper quality and style. The materials and expertise required to print in colour were not readily available and so the maps had been very limited in this regard. This map features a full reintroduction of the use of different colours to signify the different companys' lines. These, however, have not always been attributed as they were prior to 1914; the Piccadilly Line, which had been in yellow for example, appears in blue. The Inner Circle has been given its own identity for the first time and is shown in hatched green. The scheme deployed on this map has, essentially, been retained and will be familiar to today's underground traveller.

The map features the first use of the famous "Johnston" typeface, commissioned by the Underground Group and designed by calligrapher Edward Johnston. This is the well known style that is still used by London Transport today.

The cover of the map, shown here, includes a new update of the 'bullseye' logo using the new typeface; however the remaining part of the cover still retains the old typeface, which makes a poor contrast against the new.










An advertisement for the introduction of the new map listed the following features:

  • Every Station is marked.
  • Each line is printed in different colours.
  • Exchange stations are distinguished from others.
  • A plan of Theatre-land and the nearest stations.
  • A list of places of interest and their nearest stations.
  • The River, the Country, the Sea and the way to them.
  • The way to the docks.
  • The way to the Sports Grounds in London.
  • Connections with the main line terminals and much other useful information.
    HAVE ONE IN YOUR POCKET FOR REFERENCE


  • 1919
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    1920

    WHAT TO SEE & HOW TO TRAVEL
    MAP OF THE ELECTRIC RAILWAYS OF LONDON


    This is one of the very first examples of an artistic style of map printed by the Dangerfield Printing Company. Its design is attributed to MacDonald Gill who was educated in the field of calligraphy by Edward Johnston, the designer of the Johnston typeface (see previous year). MacDonald, known to friends as Max, was more of an artist than a technician and by his creative and artistic skills, using a decorative border, calligraphy for the names of the stations and other text, produced an attractive and very individual style that made a major new step towards simplifying the understanding of the underground network. He did away with all of the background detail that had been included in most of the previous designs; the essential geographical layout remains however.

    This style of map was used until 1924 when there was a brief reintroduction of background detail prior to when the so-called Stingemore maps were introduced.

    There were slight changes in the design of MacDonald Gill's maps and examples of other years can be viewed via the following links:
    1922   1923  

    Some other features of this map are:

  • Interchange stations are shown with white centres and the white line connectors can be seen at Baker Street, Kings Cross and Camden Town stations.
  • Extensive use of text boxes, the larger ones provided with a decorative frame, giving information that includes bus connections and timetables.
  • It is interesting to note that the trains ran from as early as 04.00 am, on the District Line and as late as 01.00 am, on what was known as the Hampstead Line.
  • A note is written in the bottom right hand corner, disclaiming responsibility for the exact adherence to the times given.
  • On the rear of the map there is information about the various places to visit in London, like concert halls, shopping areas, museums, theatres, a small map of the Chancery Lane area showing the Inns of Justice and main line interconnecting stations. (Click here to view a rear image of the map). All this to encourage the public to use the underground to reach these places; I wonder if there's any possibility that this may have been produced for the more elite of the day?


  • 1920
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    Click here to view MacDonald Gill's maps from 1922 & 1923
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    1921

    INNER AREA MAP
    OF THE ELECTRIC RAILWAYS OF LONDON

    The first three fold card map had been introduced in 1911 and since then, until this map, they were printed on paper; not an ideal material for something that is likely to be kept in the pocket, folded and unfolded numerous times, handled amid rushing crowded stations and subjected to the risk of wear and tearing.

    This map is printed on linen backed card and so is the second version of a three folded card map and an ancestor of today’s style of underground map. Designed by MacDonald Gill in the similar style to his other maps.

    The difficulty had been to get the detail onto a small size map, not overcome until the brainchild of Beck, some twelve years later. To help overcome the problem, this map only covered the central area but even then one can see the squeezed and smaller text around the City area.

    1921
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    1924

    MAP OF THE ELECTRIC RAILWAYS OF LONDON

    This is a fold out paper map with dimensions of 18" x 14.5" and published by Waterlow & Sons of London, Dunstable & Watford.

    Little is known about J.C. Betts, the designer, and there are no other known designs attributed to him. It would appear that, at this time, the LUR were looking for a more suitable design to incorporate the growing network as along with this design they experimented with those by MacDonald Gill and E.G.Perman. Eventually they must have decided to settle for the Stingemore arrangement before Beck came up with, what transpired to be, the ultimate definitive design.

    Some surface detail has been depicted by using a shaded background in the central area and leaving the road system white with a unique style of indicating the street names within the road itself; this cleverly avoids the clutter and confusion of drawing the roads in outline. Surface detail had been avoided in previous years to avoid difficulty in understanding the maps as the network developed and became more and more complex.

    With an emphasis on persuading the public to use the trains for leisure as well as business, a plan of the theatres and nearby stations is shown on the back as is a central plan showing connections with the main line stations.

    1924
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    1926

    DIAGRAM OF LINES
    and station index

    This 1926 map is one of the first of eleven editions of the Fred.H. Stingemore's maps that were produced between 1925 and 1932 and printed on stiff linen-backed tri-folded card. The designer's initials, FHS, can be read in the bottom left hand corner. Fred Stingemore was a draughtsman for the underground organisation. His maps were designed in an effort to consolidate the network and make it easier to understand by compressing the outlying lines in comparison to the intricate and congested central area.

    Although still basically following a geographical layout, in the light of the distortion, we see the removal of all of the ground level detail including the river; however, paradoxically, the inclusion of the River Thames was reintroduced in April 1926 and has remained in all the maps since.

    The concept of complete removal of ground level detail was introduced in the MacDonald Gill maps. Also, geographical deviation can be seen, to a smaller extent, in the earlier unified maps and these factors must have influenced Stingemore in the production of his series of maps. In turn his maps must have been the precedent for the development of the schematic format many of us are familiar with today. In later years we can see how this was developed and how the river was also modified in the same style.

    After the fourth edition in 1927, no date was shown on the maps but there are other ways of identifying the year of each edition by way of style and content. (Click here to view maps from further years and a chart identifying the characteristics for each year.)

    1926
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    1932

    MAP OF LONDON'S UNDERGROUND RAILWAYS

    This map is a development of the first card folder map produced in 1925, shown above.

    One significant change in this map from the first edition is the inclusion of the river, the only ground level feature shown. An endeavour to keep this conforming to geographical reality is largely achieved, although this will be shown to be short lived, as that changes with the introduction of the 1933 map.



    1932
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    1933

    MAP OF LONDON'S UNDERGROUND RAILWAYS
    A new design for an old map.
    Designed by Harry Beck

    This map is the first of the schematic image maps which was the brainchild of Harry Beck. (Click here to link to a feature on Harry Beck which is part of thetube.com web site). Harry was a temporarily employed electrical draughtsman who, on his own initiative, used his knowledge of circuit diagrams and applied it to the, then, current-day underground design by FHS (see 1932 above) to produce this 1933 map.

    The Underground management was a little unsure of how the public would take to such a revolutionary change in the design and a note on the front cover of a trial run of the map (seen in the edition shown), invited people to send their comments to the Publicity Manager. In fact the map was accepted very well and was eventually to become held with great affection. The incorporation of the river was also to be greatly revered by tube travellers and has been to the present day. This is the only surface feature shown on the map and although it too is a schematic representation, it provides a geographical datum which assists the interpretation and understanding of the map tremendously.

    Harry Beck's format was an innovation that would become essential for the comprehensibility of complex networks of today's transport systems all over the world. The commercial value to London Transport and the rest of the world is immeasurable; for this he was paid 10 guineas, probably about two weeks wages in those days.

    Some other changes made from the earlier map:

  • The Piccadilly Line was changed from a pale to a dark blue. The colour coding, otherwise, was essentially kept the same as the FHS design.
  • The blobs for stations were replaced by tabs and interchange stations denoted by a diamond.
  • The typeface was varied in size to accommodate space availability and so avoided the use of little arrows that were necessary on the earlier, somewhat bewildering, Stingemore maps.
  • Lambeth North Station is shown physically West (not East) of the Waterloo to Kennington leg of the Northern Line. In his original sketch of the diagram (that which Harry is seen holding in the photograph on thetube.com link above) he has shown a loop to bring the line west but this was changed by the time of printing.
  • The Northern end of the Piccadilly Line extension has been completed as far as Enfield West (later to become Oakwood), since the 1930 map was produced.
  • The Western end of the Piccadilly Line extension has been completed as far as South Harrow. There is no intention shown, at this time, for its continuation to Uxbridge.
  • The Hampstead and Highgate Line became the Edgware Highgate and Morden Line.


  • 1933
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    1936

    RAILWAY MAP

    This map features on the back cover, the central area interchange diamonds, which were first introduced the previous year and described by one punter as a "most peculiar oddity".

    One can see that Harry Beck has already started tinkering with the design since his first map three years before. Some of these changes are listed below.

  • The kink on the north section of the Bakerloo Line has been removed to make it a straight diagonal.
  • The Stanmore spur on the Metropolitan Line has changed from a vertical to a diagonal.
  • The stretch of line between Hammersmith and Ealing Common has been changed from a rectilinear form, with right angled bends, to a 45° diagonal.
  • The Cockfosters Line, that was still under construction, is now shown as completed.
  • Interchange stations are denoted by a coloured circle instead of a diamond.
  • The words "LONDON" and "TRANSPORT" have been added to the Underground logo.
  • The east end of the District Line ends with an arrow head instead of running off the map.

    Anyone notice any other changes?
  • The following changes were kindly submitted, in the guest book, by Timothy on the 6th April 2004: -

  • West End of District Line has been removed between Ealing Common & Hillingdon; there is only the Piccadilly Line.
  • Changes in Northern Line, between Camden Town & Euston.
  • Bakerloo Line changed colour from red to brown.
  • Turnham Green no longer denoted as an interchange station.
  • Even more, contributed by another Timothy, on the 9th May 2004; thank you Tims.

  • The British Museum/Holborn interchanges side by side have been replaced by a single Holborn station with the Central/Piccadilly interchange clarified.
  • The Edgware, Highgate & Morden Line has been renamed the Morden-Edgware Line.
  • Euston now clearly shows the two branches of the Morden-Edgware Line interchanging but not looking as though they merge. Consequently the Charing Cross branch with Mornington Crescent is shown to the west of the Bank branch, whereas before (and in reality) the branches were the other way round. *See note below.
  • The escalator link between Bank & Monument is first indicated.
  • The District Line disappears off the map after Mile End, not Bow Road.
  • The East London Line is now shown as being a part of the Metropolitan Line, rather than a separate colour in its own right.
  • * Note by Clive: - This covers, in more detail, the third item in Tim's contribution above. This has always been a confusing part of the line for travellers and Mornington Crescent (MC) is still shown, to this day, to the West whereas geographically, as Tim points out, it is situated to the East side of the Bank Branch. To add to the complication for those wanting to get to MC, there is a platform for each of the two northern branches at Camden Town, but southbound trains can depart from either platform toward either Charing Cross (& MC) or Bank. The map in 1941, depicts the line arrangement more accurately but shows the junctions to the North of the station when they are really to the South.
    A sketch of the physical arrangement of this junction can be viewed by clicking here."
    Perhaps this was why MC was adopted as the destination for the, even more confusing, Radio 4 strategy game of the same name;-) NB. The rules of this game and an opportunity to play can be found through a link on the home page.
    1936
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    1939

    UNDERGROUND LINES

    The reason this map is very different to other post 1933 pre 1960 maps, is because it was not designed by Harry Beck. This must have been a shock to him as he apparently was not aware that someone else had been requested to design the map for that year. In a quote from a letter to the Publicity Officer in June 1938, taken from the book "Beck's Underground Map" (see bibliography), he had written:

    I have just happened to see a proof of a new Underground folder. The 'H.C.Beck' diagram has been used, but with considerable and, I suggest, undesirable, alterations by another artist -- one not on the staff -- without reference to me.

    Beck need not have worried too much at this time, as the diagram was not liked by the Publicity Officer and he was subsequently made responsible for all further design changes, until his authority was again challenged in 1946 and finally in 1960.

    As can be seen, the design uses a technique, by means of a coloured background, to highlight the central area (not unlike the technique used on today's map to show the tariff zones). The lines are not as wide as Beck's design and the interchange stations are illustrated by black circles, a feature that was returned to after Beck's last map in 1960. The intention, on this map, had been to eliminate the need for the peculiar interchange map that had been appearing on the back of the maps since 1935.

    The map had been the work of a designer called Hans Scheger, under the pseudonym of "Zero", who had already been commissioned for other work by London Transport. It emphasises Beck's understanding of the requirements and his skillful ability at applying them to the map when one sees the results of this attempt by a respected professional designer.

    1939
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    1940

    UNDERGROUND LINES

    In 1940 Harry Beck left his job with London Underground and took up a post with the London School of Printing and Graphical Arts. However, he continued to work on the underground map in his spare time and in the same year we find that the map has returned to his design following that of the previous two editions by Hans Scheger, which had caused Harry so much irritation.

    Similar to some maps produced in the First World War, for two years during the Second World War maps were printed in limited colour. In this 1940 map, only brown and blue colours have been used and hence there is no colour key to signify the different companys' lines.



    1940
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    1941

    UNDERGROUND LINES

    In 1940 Harry Beck had been requested by the London Transport Board to incorporate three new features in the quad royal poster. These were: - to use interlinking circles for the interchange stations, to use separate names for the same stations that share different lines and to use 60° angles for the diagonals. These features were also incorporated into this second edition of the 1941 folder map.

    After these maps were introduced the interlinked circles were considered to make the map unnecessarily complex. The 60° angles, introduced in an effort to better include the Central Line extensions East and West of the map, were also an unnecessary distraction and both these attributes only lasted two years. Incomprehensibly, the congestion caused by the multiple use of names for some of the stations, remained as a feature until 1946.



    1941
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    1943

    UNDERGROUND LINES
    Designed by Harry Beck

    This is the first card (folder N°1) of Harry Beck's rectilinear style maps. The design was originally published as a quad royal poster in January 1941. Beck was encouraged by the management to revise the design in order to reduce the diagonal lines to an absolute minimum.

    The picture is nicely divided by a cross formed horizontally through the centre by the Central Line and vertically by the Northern Line. One downside to this design was that the last station, on the Richmond branch of the District Line, is not shown adjacent to the river where it correctly belonged; this was not rectified until 1951.

    Some other features of this map:

  • The Hammersmith branch of the Metropolitan Line now terminates at a normal station and not an Interchange. Despite these stations not being immediately adjacent to each other, it reverted to be illustrated as an interchange station later in the 1946 map.
  • Station names for Gloucester Road, Leicester Square and Monument straddle the line, presumably due to space constraints.


  • 1943
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    1946

    UNDERGROUND
    DIAGRAM OF LINES

    The front page of this map shows a garish border similar to that used earlier in the same year on the quad royal poster; it was designed by Captain Shepherd.

    Other changes that took place for the first time on this 1946 map are as follows:

  • An abandonment of coloured print being used for the stations names and so also, the seemingly ridiculous practice of duplicate names at interchange stations.
  • Re-introduction of lines to be electrified and lines under construction.
  • Restoration of Hammersmith to a three station interchange, previously altered in 1943.


  • 1946
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    1949

    RAILWAYS
    DIAGRAM OF LINES

    This is the first example of where Beck introduced the "white line connectors", a clever technique to portray passenger interconnections between stations on different lines. The original inspiration of this, may or may not have come to Beck from much earlier in a 1909 booklet entitled "Street&Railway Map.IN.Sections", where a similar technique was used to show an interconnection between, the then, Bakerloo Tube and the Metropolitan Railway Lines at Baker Street, (click here to see). It can be seen from the Great Central Station, that the effect was also used where there were interconnections between main line and underground stations.

    Unfortunately, on this first introduction, these white gaps are not correctly coincident with those on the other lines, at some of the stations. This is due to a print error that has caused the whole of the Metropolitan Line to shift to the right about a quarter and down one sixteenth of an inch. This has also had a bizarre effect on the colouring along the north part of the Circle Line and caused gaps around Liverpool Street and Whitechapel stations and where it should cross the River Thames. I wonder if this is where the expression "mind the gap" originated?



    1949
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    1951

    RAILWAYS
    DIAGRAM OF LINES

    By the time this 1951 map was produced all the extensions planned before the war had finally been opened, with the exception of those that had been subsequently abandoned. The Underground network would now remain essentially unchanged until the opening of the Victoria Line in the late 1960s.

    Another feature of this edition is that Richmond is re-instated back to its rightful place next to the Thames. This had been shown to the south of the river since the rectilinear style was introduced in 1943. This had been achieved by reinstating the diagonal of the branch and bending the river to match. It is to be assumed that this arrangement was not liked by the designer as it was only to last until 1954.



    1951
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    1956

    RAILWAYS
    DIAGRAM OF LINES

    This edition shows the changes that were first made on the 1954 map which had been extensively revised to show four new features:

  • Displaying the river in rectilinear form.
  • Simplification of the Circle Line into a rectangular shape.
  • Branching points of many lines shown with equal importance rather than as a spur, i.e. the Mill Hill and High Barnet branch on the Northern Line.
  • The thickening of the route lines.


  • 1956
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    1958 & 59

    UNDERGROUND
    DIAGRAM OF LINES
    and station index

    If one looks closely at these 1958(Bottom) and 1959(Top) maps it can be seen that there are very subtle changes which indicate that the map was redrawn in the 1959 edition. For unknown reasons, the curves of the lines have been tightened whereas the river curves have been loosened very slightly.

    1958 & 1959
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    1960

    UNDERGROUND
    Diagram of Lines

    This is the very last of the H. C. Beck's design. Beck was apparently looking forward to the challenge of designing into the scheme the new Victoria Line for his next map. There were some interpersonal relation problems between Beck and the current Publicity Officer H. F. Hutchinson, who had voiced doubts about rectilinear form of Beck's design. Moves were made, unbeknown to Beck, to redesign the map by the Publicity Officer himself which was issued later this year (1960).

    Despite being rejected, Beck still completed and submitted a design incorporating the Victoria Line which is considered, by many today, to have been a far superior and cleverer proposal than the one eventually used by London Transport. The submission, however, was returned to him without comment.



    1960
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    1963

    DIAGRAM OF LINES
    Designed by Harold F Hutchinson

    This map is in a new style introduced in 1960 as a "Change of Style after 30 Years". It was designed, not by a designer but by, the then, Underground's Publicity Officer, Harold F Hutchinson.

    The design was not well liked, the text lettering in places was cramped. This was so much so at the Aldgate Station, the name was split each side of the line. The diagram is drawn in straight lines without any curves; bends are shown as straight angles. This results in the somewhat complicated kink in the line, seen between Holland Park and East Acton on the Central Line. Also the altering of the rectangular shape of the Circle Line causes congestion on the diagram around Liverpool Street and Aldgate; you will see that these have been ironed out in the next year's diagram.

    Other features of interest on this map are as follows:

  • Interchange stations are printed in black avoiding the necessity of different colours for the particular lines they are on.
  • British Rail interchanges are illustrated by a square.
  • Escalator connection between Monument and Bank is shown in the key.
  • The tab indicating the station at East Acton is on the south side of the line. This changes to the north side in next year's diagram and remains on that side until some time between 1974 and 1986 when it reverts back to the south side.
  • North western end of Metropolitan Line now stops at Amersham and interchanges with British Railway to continue beyond, prior to this the end of the line was at Aylesbury.


  • 1963
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    1964

    DIAGRAM OF LINES
    Designed by Paul E Garbutt

    This design was by Paul E. Garbutt who was assistant secretary and New Works Officer. He did the work producing this in his spare time because he, along with many others, disliked the current version.

    The changes introduced by Garbutt are listed below:

  • Curves and bends are restored which allows a little more flexibility and the spreading out of some stations.
  • The so called "white line connectors" - the passenger interconnections between stations on different lines, have been re-introduced.
  • Re-established the clean horizontal line for the Central Line and a nice straight vertical line for the Northern Line. This, in a way, was going back to the style originally produced in 1933.
  • The square illustrations have been replaced by a dot inside a black circle for interchange stations with British Rail.
  • A new shape has been introduced for the Circle Line which became known as the vacuum flask shape.
  • The words "Escalator connection" between Monument and Bank are introduced, this year, on the diagram.


  • 1964
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    1970


    "DIAGRAM OF LINES"
    Designed by Paul E Garbutt

    New features on this map are as follows:

  • The part of the Northern Line, from Moorgate to Drayton Park, that originally gave it the name, has become the Highbury Branch.
  • Aldersgate has become Barbican.
  • Introduction of the Victoria Line and a few consequent changes around Kings Cross.
  • Interchanges with British Rail are now shown by the BR Logo.
  • The logo has been changed, with the word "UNDERGROUND" being replaced with a consistent sized text. The first evidence of this design, i.e. the enlarging of the U & D, is its use on a 1908 post card produced by the printers of the earlier maps, Waterlow & Sons. It is unknown whether this had been their own design or was made at the request of the underground group; the logo however must have been subsequently adopted by them.
  • 1970

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    1974


    DIAGRAM OF LINES
    Designed by Paul E Garbutt

    New features on this map are as follows:

  • London Transport have decided to inform us in writing that the diagram is issued free.
  • The logo has been changed with the word "Underground" on the blue background removed.
  • The section of line between Watford and Queens Park on the Bakerloo Line is illustrated as a BR main line, running underground trains only at peak times. (At other times, those wanting to continue into London on the underground would have to change at Queens Park).
  • Stations closed at weekends are signified by a star.
  • Strand station is closed for rebuilding.
  • Victoria Line extended to Brixton.
  • The Central Line no longer dissects the Circle Line centrally, it has been moved up the diagram to allow more space for the more congested southern part of the diagram within the Circle. This has led to the escalator link between Monument and Bank being stretched, (making it look a mighty long escalator).
  • 1974

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    1986


    Pocket Map

    New features on this map are as follows:

  • We're no longer given the name of the designer.
  • The information that the diagram is issued free is very much more discreet.
  • The logo is back to its original 1970 format.
  • Stations with bicycle storage facilities are identified.
  • Heathrow extension on the Piccadilly Line.
  • Jubilee Line added taking the Stanmore leg of the Bakerloo Line and a new extension from Baker Street to Charing Cross.
  • Metropolitan Line runs to Aldgate and Barking at peak times. There are various other "peak hour sections" now illustrated.
  • The Highbury branch of the Northern Line and the Waterloo & City Line are shown as British Rail in the key.
  • The rebuilt Strand station is now combined with Trafalgar Square station to become Charing Cross station; the original Charing Cross station is renamed Embankment.
  • 1986

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    1995


    Tube Map
    Journey planner with station index

    New features on this map are as follows:

  • The celebrated, haven't a clue why, Mornington Crescent station is closed for rebuilding.
  • The Aldwich extension has gone.
  • The Central Line has, logically, been brought down to join the stations Monument and Bank; we've consequently lost the escalator link.
  • You no longer have to mind the gap at Hainault on the north section of the Central Line, it's been removed.
  • The Docklands Light Railway is added and the shape of the river has been altered to accommodate it.
  • Despite being a tube map, the British Rail, North London Line, has been added to the diagram.
  • The Jubilee extension is shown as under construction.
  • 1995

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    1996


    Tube Map
    Journey planner with station index

    In this year London Transport have discovered the potential of advertising on their tube maps and we see the introduction of the business "Freepages" being advertised.

    1996

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    1997


    Tube Map
    Journey planner with station index and facilities

    The key to lines, is shown on the front page, presumably to attract attention to the brand new helpline.

    1997

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    2001

    The opening of the Jubilee extension to Stratford has taken Charing Cross station off the line. It now goes through Westminster Station and under the River Thames, four times, before terminating at Stratford.

    2001

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    2002

    This year's map includes a background shading to signify the areas for each of the tariff zones. This is a technique similar to that tried long ago, back on the 1939 map.

    2002

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    Today

    The modern day interactive map, what would Harry Beck make of this design?
    Click here to link to an on line interactive map by Quickmap.

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    The Real Underground Map

    This link takes you to a brilliant site that transforms, before your eyes, today's schematic diagram to the real geographical layout.
    It also transforms, in the same way, today's schematic map into Beck's 1933 original diagram.
    It is amazing to see just how much it has changed and how much it differs from the reality.

    Click here to link to this clever animation by Sam Rich, which shows the Underground Map morphing into a "real" map.
    It used to be shown on the Transport for London website, but he now has permission to put it on his own site.

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    Acknowledgements:

    The author wishes to thank Lynne Monckton, for her perseverance in deciphering the html code and proof reading the script for this page and correcting the author’s appalling spelling.










    This logo has no significance other than something to end the page.