The first edition of Beck’s diagram, tri-fold passenger map dated January 1933, 16 x 23 cm, printed in colours, trivial spotting above Highgate, covers a little dusty, printed on card; a paper version was printed simultaneously for inclusion in guide books.
Beck’s map is possibly one of the most innovative and influential designs of the twentieth century, and he was responsible for revising and updating it over most of the next three decades. Note the diamond interchange stations, and the cautious note on the cover: ‘A new design for an old map. We should welcome your comments’. The London Underground was already sixty years old when Beck’s schematic map appeared, and although underground mapping had evolved considerably over the years the travelling public may have been expected to resist any map which was not more or less geographically accurate. The diagram was an instant success, reprinted within a month.