Passenger map of the London underground, 15.2 x 22.8 cm, printed in colours, very clean but with gum residue where tipped in, with a single centrefold rather than the usual tri-fold, still tipped in at the end of a contemporary guide book.
This issue saw a slight increase in size of the card folder given away to passengers. Beck’s diagram is possibly one of the most innovative and influential designs of the 20th century. First published in 1933, Beck remained directly associated with most iterations of it until 1960, except for a short period when responsibility for revising and updating the passenger map passed to Hans Schleger.
This example is still tipped into a 1935 first edition of Clarence Winchester’s ‘Let’s Look at London’, a 170 page hardback ‘travelogue for the short time visitor’ published by Cassell; our example still has the original pictorial dustwrapper, with some paper tape repairs to the verso. Winchester was an early aviator who carved a living as a journalist, mostly writing about transport (although his 1934 ‘An Innocent in Hollywood’ is anecdotal – he seems to have met the personalities he writes about).
For much of the 20th Century, London Transport and its predecessors seem to have been happy to distribute quantities of the official map at no charge (or a minimal one?) to commercial publishers to be bound into guide books. Presumably it was seen as free advertising. Some were the standard issue with text on the verso, as distributed to passengers; some were the normal issue but supplied flat, and folded differently (as here) to fit the format of the book; some were special guide book issues, supplied with a blank verso. Many have been removed from their original context over time, and it is interesting to note the range of publishers who were able to obtain supplies of maps.