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Finding your way on the Twopenny Tube

1908 Central London Railway map

I’ve spent most of my life in travel or transportation and so I’m no stranger to maps.  My first visit to London was in 1983 and I quickly became a fan of the Tube.  I found the sprawling metropolis a bewildering place back then but the simplicity and efficiency of the Underground cut it down to size.

Henry C. Beck‘s elegant tube map was still decades away when this Central London Railway map was printed by Johnson Riddle & Co. Ltd. in 1908.  Although it was far from elegant it was the first map to show all the independent underground railways. Measuring roughly 11″ x 17″ this particular edition is promoting the Franco-British Exhibition which opened on May 14, 1908.  It took place in an area of west London now called White City.  A new tube station, Wood Lane, had just opened and this map promotes its accessibility to the exhibition.

For more scans of this map check out my 1908 Central London Railway map set on Flickr.

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