Old map covers

All these map covers were drawn by Ellis Martin for OS maps published in the 1920s. Click on the map tag for more examples.

'The 1920s and 30s saw the rise of the British tourist industry when, for the first time, ordinary working-class people had enough weekend leisure time to leave their smoky factory towns for a couple of days, and take to the country with its fresh, invigorating air.

It was the beginning of the cycling crazes and the hiking boom, and railway excursions, and - for those who could afford it - days out in the car.

All over the country, map-makers were producing maps of the most attractive areas, and walkers, cyclists and motorists were buying them in their millions. Fierce competition raged between these map-makers until the Ordnance Survey engaged an artist called ELLIS MARTIN to design eye-catching covers for its maps. From then on, the Ordnance Survey led the maket and Martin's superb period designs for OS map covers are now collectors' pieces.
'  J P Browne   Map Cover Art

For other examples of finely drawn commercial art this links to a post I did on cigarette cards.

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