Pictorial Map from The A to Z 1938 London Street Atlas


The above map is an extract from a reproduction of the “Pictorial Map of London” published in 1938 by what was then known as the “Geographer’s Map Co Ltd”. The map shows, for the central part of London, each individual house, the (pre-war) street network, and the major tourist attractions of the time. The map is an insert in the back of an iconic book – the “A to Z Atlas and Guide to London and Suburbs” which was the first of the famous (and still going 75 years later) A to Z series of maps and atlases, that have been an integral part of London’s mapping history. There is even a special A to Z map which shows the routes of “The Knowledge” that all proper London cabbies have to learn before gaining their taxi licence.

A to Z have recently published a reproduction book containing this pictorial map, the complete page-by-page atlas of London, and a number of special maps including a pre-Beck tube map and other special interest maps such as this map of London clubs:


…there is also a section on “Places of Interest” in a pre-war London, a list of the City churches, and the detailed index of every street. The front cover notes that the atlas has “23000 streets” which is “9000 more than any other similar atlas index”.

The book is a facsimile of the original, with the browned paper, watermarks and stains making it look like a typical 75-year old well used book, but actually being brand new. The book comes in an attractive case, pictured here:


Mapping London received a review copy of the map. Mapping London is always pleased to receive copies of interesting London maps to review for the blog. You may be interested in using a not-insubstantial 30% discount code off the following more modern works at the A-Z store: use SUMMER13 when ordering any of the following from A-Z’s website – az.co.uk before 16 August:

  • London A-Z (paperback & spiral)
  • London Mini (paperback & spiral)
  • Big London (spiral)
  • Master Atlas
  • Super Scale Atlas (paperback)
  • Knowledge Atlas
  • London Premier map
  • London Map & Walks

You can also buy the 1938 map from the same place although the discount doesn’t apply to this one. Further information on A to Z maps is at www.az.co.uk.


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