Underground
Maps 1925-1932

Last updated 8 August 2011.

These maps were designed and drawn by Frederick H. Stingemore (and signed FHS in the lower corner) in eleven editions from 1925 through 1932. They were printed on stiff, linen-backed, tri-folded card (at first 6 × 5 inches, later enlarged to 6½ × 5½ inches). The whole of the inner surface is taken up with a colourful map that is still geographic but is nonetheless somewhat abstract. All background detail has been dropped, and the network is shown as colour-coded lines which have been distorted to fit into the available space. The outer surface is coloured linen, with the left and right panels containing informative text and the middle panel serving as the front cover.

The Stingemore maps were designed to be carried out around by passengers in their pockets. They are of a handy pocket size, robustly made, with a durable material on the outer surface. In their trifolded format, they could very quickly be folded and unfolded while on the move. This is in marked contrast to the earlier thin paper maps that really needed to be spread out carefully on a desk. This represents a significant shift in the conception of how the maps were to be used: from pre-journey planning to in-transit navigation.

Another significant feature is that—from the fourth third edition onwards—the outside back cover of the map card contained a list of theatres and the nearest Underground station to each. This list was scrupulously updated as new venues opened (and occasionally closed), and as stations closed for refurbishment. The implication is that one of foremost uses of the map was for better-off patrons to find their way to the theatre in the evening. Until the 10th edition, the inner cover panel also had a list of Places of Interest but this (rather than the list of theatres) disappeared from the next edition when space was needed to announce changes to the Underground network.

The maps underwent very little stylistic change over the seven years, in marked contrast to the volatile designs of the paper maps from 1908 to 1928. Only the first four were issued with a date, or even a datable reference code. Dating of the others must rely on clues in style and content.

Some Stingemore maps were printed on thin paper, in the same size as the cards. These were normally distributed as a glued-in insert into a guide to London.

Peter Lloyd

All designs © Transport for London.


MAP OF LONDON’S UNDERGROUND RAILWAYS


May 1925

Jan. 1926

Apr. 1926

Jun. 1927

1928

1929

1930

1931

1931

1931

1932


May 1925
694 11-5-1925


JAN. 1926

Hampstead & Highgate and City & South London extensions changed from UNDER CONSTRUCTION, and the River Thames added.

APR. 1926

Listing of PLACES OF INTEREST and THEATRES and their nearest Underground stations added to the rear panels. The connection between the Hampstead & Highgate and City & South London lines at Kennington was also added.

JUNE 1927
A special version of this edition was produced, with
CUNARD LINE
EUROPE
UNITED STATES
CANADA
printed on the front cover. The inside contains the same map as the regular version.

JUNE 1927

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With this edition the size was increased by 3/4 inches to approximately 6½" × 5½". This allowed for greater clarity of detail in the congested Central London area. Two easy ways to tell this version from the previous is the extra space above the
MAP OF
LONDON’S
UNDERGROUND
RAILWAYS
title on the front cover, and the revised heading (from
PLACES OF
INTEREST.
to
PLACES OF
INTEREST &c.
) on the left-hand panel.

1928

Station names changed from black to their respective line colours. (This feature remained until 1946.)

1929

The Piccadilly Extensions have been added, but shown as UNDER CONSTRUCTION. In addition, the UNDERGROUND title was moved from the upper- to lower-right corner.

1930

Publisher (as shown on the front cover) changed from COMMERCIAL MANAGER’S OFFICE to PUBLICITY MANAGER’S OFFICE, and printers changed from Waterlow & Sons Ltd, to The David Allen Printing Co (London) Ltd.

c. 1931

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 EXTENSION TO 
NORTHFIELDS
note (between Stamford Brook and Turnham Green stations) removed.

c. 1931


c. 1931

The Piccadilly extension to Cockfosters is shown as completed. PLACES OF INTEREST &c. replaced with PICCADILLY RAILWAY EXTENSIONS and RENAMING OF STATIONS. Down Street is omitted, as the station had closed on 21 May 1932.

1932
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