The East Londoner who was paid just £5.25 for his London Underground map design

The East Londoner who was paid just £5.25 for his London Underground map design

Have you ever puzzled who created the long-lasting Tube map?

And how a lot they had been reportedly paid?

Well funnily sufficient, My London is aware of all concerning the inventor and the story behind his battle to get his design accepted.

Harry Beck (born. Henry Charles Beck, 1902-1974) was born in Leyton, East London to West Ham mother and father Joshua and Eleanor Beck.

The household moved to Highgate in 1911 and Harry was educated at Grove House School and he loved attending artwork classes.

Later in life, Harry labored as {an electrical} draughtsmen on the London Underground within the Nineteen Twenties.

The authentic map was “as legible as a bowl of spaghetti”

Harry grew to become unemployed and would usually sketch out the London Underground system in his spare time.

A London Underground community map already existed however it was exhausting to navigate across the metropolis because the design was “as legible as a bowl of spaghetti.”

People had been initially sceptical about Harry’s design

Harry determined to straighten out the colorful squiggles into vertical, horizontal or 45 diploma diagonal strains.

His design was launched in 1931, however the London Underground publicity division had been sceptical about Harry’s map, fearing it could be too “radical.”

Eventually, the London Underground agreed to publish the map in pocket-form in January, 1933 and the map was printed as a poster in March, the identical 12 months.

It is believed Harry was paid just 5 guineas for his authentic design, which is equal to £5.25 immediately.

Harry Beck’s map actually modified the best way folks seemed on the transport system (Credit: TfL)

Clashes at London Underground

Harry returned to the London Underground and labored right here for one other 20 years, including new stations to the map as they had been being constructed.

However, he would abruptly depart in 1959 after listening to that his map would get replaced by Harold F. Hutchinson’s.

So Harry started a profession educating typography on the London College of Printing, which is now the London College of Communications, Elephant and Castle.

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London Transport Museum senior curator, Anna Renton stated on-line: “I feel Harry was upset as a result of he felt that his design had been misappropriated and since he hadn’t even been consulted.

“It was a tragic finish, I suppose, to his time with the Underground.”

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Harry’s legacy

Despite leaving the London Underground on a foul observe, Harry continued to attract new variations of the map till he died in 1974.

His up to date drawing of the Victorian line and a Paris Metro map design had been sadly by no means used.

From Berlin to Sydney, Harry’s iconic tube map has impressed metropolitan cities with their very own designs throughout the globe.

Get as much as the minute updates on public transport and what the roads are like close to you by getting into your postcode into our helpful widget beneath.

A blue plaque celebrating Harry’s contributions to public transport and society was positioned exterior the East London home he was born in.

He might not have obtained all of the deserving credit score whereas he was alive and maybe he was too forward of his time, however Harry’s legacy will dwell on for so long as vacationers and Londoners proceed to depend on getting from A to B.

Did about Harry Beck? What is your favorite London Underground station? Let us know within the remark part right here.

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