Blog

Stingemore Maps – Collect the Set
By Tim / 30/03/2017

Everybody loves a good flow chart…

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Kerry Lee’s London
By Tim / 01/02/2017

Artist and pictorial map maker Kerry Lee created two distinctive maps of London, both of which were revised and adapted over a 20 year period, between the late 1930s and mid 1950s. (Read our two posts about Kerry’s life and work here  and here) ‘London Town’ was Kerry’s first foray into mapping the capital, a…

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A Tourist’s Guide to Stalin’s USSR
By Tim / 25/10/2016

This little clutch of maps and guides was acquired in 1936 by a British tourist in Stalin’s USSR. Some of them bear the original owner’s dated inscription, ‘W. Hackett, 22.12.36’. I’ve encountered some of these publications individually before, and discussed them here. The star of the show for me might, at first glance, look like…

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For Your Convenience – the first queer city guide?
By Tim / 16/09/2016

Back in April I wrote about a Gay-Z map of London, published by the Man to Man bookshop in Notting Hill c. 1977. It remains the earliest example of a separately published LGBT map of London I’ve seen, and I’m pleased to say that it will feature in a forthcoming publication (to accompany the British…

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The Edwardian origins of the tri-fold tube map: fit for the waistcoat pocket
By Tim / 14/09/2016

At the entrance of any modern Tube station are racks of passenger maps, free for anyone who needs one. The familiar format is very practical. Each map folds out to reveal three panels. It fits easily into the pocket and can be unfolded, even at platform level, without being carried away by a sudden gust…

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Colouring Inside the Lines 2
By Tim / 21/07/2016

This post is a follow-up to Colouring Inside the Lines At last I had the opportunity to trawl through back issues of the Evening News for 1907, and it proved to be very fruitful. The Evening News and its readers seem to have been fascinated by the latest developments underground. We have evidence that the…

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Fred Stingemore: Man in the Middle
By Tim / 15/06/2016

Fred Stingemore’s contribution to the mapping of London’s Underground has been somewhat eclipsed by the reputations of the designers who came before and after, MacDonald Gill and Harry Beck. It was Gill who stripped away the surface topography completely, including the River Thames, leaving behind a clean but still geographically recognisable design. However, it was…

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London Rebuilt: 350 Years since the Great Fire
By Tim / 12/05/2016

One of the maps we’re looking forward to displaying at this year’s London Map Fair is an exceptionally rare survey of the city, made just after the Great Fire of London by John Oliver. Oliver’s entry in the Dictionary of British Map Engravers describes him as a builder, architect, glass-painter, mapmaker, surveyor, printseller, publisher and…

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Colouring Inside the Lines
By Tim / 11/05/2016

It is easy to overlook that fact that by 1933, when the first edition of Harry Beck’s famous diagram was presented to the public, Beck was able to draw on a full sixty years of earlier attempts to map London’s Underground. A key component in the success of Beck’s design was colour. The individual line…

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The Fastest Cake in the World
By Pinda Bryars / 19/04/2016

At Bryars & Bryars, discussions about favourite authors, contentious points of bibliography, superior cartographic technique etc are usually quite civil. Opinions are set forth in an atmosphere of mutual respect. The correct preparation of scones, however, has been a subject of bitter dispute and name-calling for years. Earlier this month, we decided to settle it…

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