Historical map of LondonThis online interactive map of central London is made up of extracts from the London A-Z Street Atlas - Historical Edition. The map, which includes bus, trolleybus and tram routes, shows the streets of London as they were just before the Second World War.
Geographers' Map Company was founded in 1936 by Phyllis Pearsall MBE (1906-1996) who, encouraged by her father Alexander Gross, took on the ambitious task of publishing up-to-date street mapping of London.
Mrs. Pearsall had the street map originals hand drawn on tracing paper using pen and ink whilst she compiled much of the information necessary to update the maps. This huge task involved her visiting the thirty one Borough Surveyors' departments concerned to obtain as much of their co-operation as possible.
She also trudged the streets of London from dawn to dusk hand plotting the alignments of new streets and compiling ancillary information including house numbers along principal thoroughfares. Not least amongst her many tasks was that of the laborious job of card indexing the street names alphabetically in preparation for typesetting and this inspired the origin of the A-Z logo.