Wonderground map of London


Published in 1914, By Paying Us Your Pennies – or the Wonderground Map of London Town, as this cartographic icon became known – presents a bird’s eye view of the capital peopled with characters from every walk of life making whimsical quips or puns about road or place names:

  • Men hurl hams in Hurlingham
  • In Earls Court ‘the Earl’s caught!’
  • A colourful serpent has taken up residence in the Serpentine.

Despite its chevrons and heraldic borders, it clearly presents a contemporary portrait of London with its motor cars and B-Type buses and a state-of-the-art monoplane looping the loop in the skies above. Press reports of the time claimed that 'People spend so long looking at this map – they miss their trains yet go on smiling' (Daily Sketch, May 1914).

Various retail editions were published in the following years, while map-makers across the world were inspired to create 'Wonder' maps of their own cities including Melbourne, Mexico City and Barcelona.

Full title:
Wonderground Map of London Town
1915, London
Leslie MacDonald Gill
© The Estate of Macdonald Gill
Held by
British Library
Maps 3485.(199.)

Full catalogue details

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