Hand folding sheet maps

A-Z Maps Memorabilia Leave a Comment

Today, all of our sheet maps are folded by machine, but there was a time when an unusual sheet or cover board size dictated a different fold pattern that needed to be done by hand. A sharp accurate fold was achieved by running a ‘bone folder’ quickly along the turned edge of the sheet. Skilled workers prepared up to 400 …

Paper map compilation

A-Z Maps Memorabilia Leave a Comment

This image shows how map additions were recorded in the late 1940s prior to be being drawn. Very simply (but carefully) drawn with road casings showing road widths and junctions, many of the roads have been numbered and named in the sheet margin. This method of compilation later evolved with road centre lines being added instead and a separate card …

Straight line scribing tool

A-Z Maps Memorabilia Leave a Comment

This drawing instrument is a straight line scribing tool. The inserted sapphire cutting tool has been correctly positioned in it using the small set up block seen to the left. In use, the plastic wheel is run along a ruler scribing a line away from its edge, therefore protecting the tip from damage (they could be easily chipped). A single …

Drawing using Lorienne Cartographer

A-Z Maps Memorabilia Leave a Comment

A-Z’s iconic street map design is instantly recognizable in this image. However, for many years, draughtsmen had to rely on their experience and expensive proofs to identify and avoid errors associated with colour. The problem persisted with initial computer drawing, bearing little resemblance to the finished product it still needing to be processed to output the final colour image – …

Automatic pens

A-Z Maps Memorabilia Leave a Comment

Automatic Pens are still used in calligraphy and are available in a variety of line widths. The guide on the side of the 3E pen (E for Edge) is being used here against the edge of a table to lay down a perfectly straight border line along the edge of the drawing material. This method was replaced with border lines …

Mrs P’s ‘From Bedsitter…’ Book

A-Z Maps Memorabilia Leave a Comment

This is Phyllis Pearsall’s book ‘From Bedsitter to Household Name’. Written in 1990 it is her personal story about the company’s formative years – from the start facing and surmounting a seemingly endless run of unforeseen problems and complexities, to the eventual formation of the Geographers’ Map Trust in which she enshrined her personal approach to business and people. Mrs …

Astrafoil colours

A-Z Maps Memorabilia Leave a Comment

Any map colour, or percentage of the same colour, required its own overlay sheet so that different printing screens could be introduced later in the production workflow. This type of work, before the introduction of clean and simple peel coats, was messy. In this example, the original scribed drainage sheet has been reproduced onto Astrafoil specifically to paint in the …

Micro-Modifier

A-Z Maps Memorabilia Leave a Comment

We’ve always been keen to look at new technology with a view to increasing productivity, but not at the cost of accuracy or quality. In the 1980s the Micro Modifier was being used both in the litho and graphics industries and A-Z looked to see if it’s innovative reproduction methods could be used to create road casings and text halos. …

Mrs P’s paintings

A-Z Maps Memorabilia Leave a Comment

Throughout her adult life Phyllis Pearsall painted using a variety of paint mediums which included Indian ink, watercolour and oils. Her work covered a broad range of subjects from perceptive sketches of people to accomplished portraits, and from indoor still lifes to elemental landscapes. The three examples here are a 1965 oil painting of ‘Brighton from Dyke Golf Course’ (centre) …

Oranges and Lemons

A-Z Maps Memorabilia Leave a Comment

Oranges and lemons? – if you are a London black cab driver, or studying to be one, then you will know what we are referring to. A-Z maps are extensively referred to during the two to four years it takes for applicants to successfully complete and pass ‘The Knowledge’. That’s a working knowledge of the 25,000 streets, 320 routes (runs) …