Tri-fold London underground pocket map, 14.2 x 16.6 cm, on pale-green linen-backed card, wear to folds and light stain on map, top right; overprint in red, bottom right, for TW Thompson & Co, a firm selling early radios and electrical equipment. In the 1920s and 1930s it was possible for relatively small firms (as well as big department stores) to commission special issues advertising the location of their premises.
Our map is part of a series designed by Fred Stingemore which was issued free to passengers from 1925 onwards, and which was ultimately replaced by Beck’s diagram in 1933. Although they were roughly geographical, all surface topography (even the Thames in early editions, although it was later reinstated as a point of reference, as here) was omitted and some lines were twisted to fit into the available space. The UERL had experimented with small three-panel maps with even before WW1, but Stingemore’s series cemented the format, and his maps are the ancestors of those given away at tube stations today.