A post featuring 8 different Tube maps since 1908 had me wondering what else was out there on the evolution of the London Underground map. There is quite a bit. This is less a reflection on Harry Beck, etc, and more a collection of what can be found.
A History of the London Tube Maps is pretty thorough until 2002. It’s also attractive as a time capsule for websites from around then.
A more up-to-date designed collection of maps from 1889-2002.
The Guardian’s retrospective slide show.
Among other things, info on non-Harry Beck designed maps from 1939 and 1940. Also the detail that Beck received about 2 weeks wages as a bonus for the original design.
Harry Beck’s diagram of the 7+ lines of the London Underground, although geographically inaccurate, provides a coherent overview of a complex system. With excellent color printing, classic British railroad typography (by Edward Johnson), and, in the modern style, only horizontal, vertical, and 45 degree lines, the map became a beautiful organizing image of London. For apparently quite a number of people, the map organized London (rather than London organizing the map). Despite 70 years of revision due to extensions of the Underground and bureaucratic tinkering (the marketing department wrecked the map for several years), the map nicely survives to this day.
(First post via Dave M.)