Impressive Wall Map of Greater London
Large-scale wall map of greater London showing post-codes and railway and tube lines. This map shows the extent of the London postal service in the immediate pre-war era, stretching from Grange Park in southern Enfield to Thornton Heath. The map is extremely detailed, showing all major streets and localities in the city. An inset in the lower right shows Croydon.
This map was likely published for commercial use, as can be seen with the focus on postcodes and railway lines. The postcode system had been in place in London since 1856 in order to simplify mail delivery in the city. The system originally divided the city simply into one or two-letter denominations without additional numbers, however, appendage numbers would be added in 1917 to increase wartime efficiency. That same year, the center of the city would be partitioned into an Eastern Central (EC) and a Western Central (WC) postcodes. Despite some minor changes and reorganization, mainly in the late 20th century, the post map of London today closely resembles the one pictured in this map.
The map was produced by Geographia, Ltd., a London-based cartographic publishing firm located on Fleet Street. The company's offices were located in London from 1911 to 1940 when the firm would relocate to London. Eventually, the company would be purchased by Rand McNally.
While the contents of the map offer little clues as to the dating, Geographia, Ltd., use the letter-to-number dating system where the letters in the word CUMBERLAND correspond to dates. Thus, the imprint in the lower left, M. MN. dates the map to March 1939.