Phyllis Pearsall

1906 - 1996

Phyllis Pearsall pioneer mapmaker responsible for modern London A to Z design, first published in the 1930s. Regrettably Wikipedia is rather sceptical about the claim that she walked the 3000 miles of London streets to ensure the accuracy, or that her design was original, but other sources are more generous.

I still have a "Master Atlas of Greater London" which is a hardback book of large (about B4) format published by Geographers' Map Company Ltd and "Produced under the direction of Phyllis Pearsall F.R.G.S." although undated.

The London Underground railway map in this book is "Designed by Paul E. Garbutt", which is the name I remember seeing on the maps when I travelled on the tube (in the 1960s to 80s), not Harry Beck who is often cited as originator of this style of map. Garbutt was apparently the third to update the map.

Sources and Links

Wikipedia biography
AZ Maps
AZ Maps Historical Edition
Harry Beck (1902-1974) biography
Beck's original Underground Map 1931