150 years ago today, the very first journey on the London Underground took place. On 9th January 1863, a steam train travelled between Paddington and Farringdon and marked the opening of the world’s first underground railway.
The V&A is proud to hold in its collections the original sketch diagram of Henry Beck’s iconic London Underground map, which this year celebrates its 80th anniversary of being available to the public. All versions of the modern map derive from this first rough sketch. It is available for viewing in the Prints and Drawings Study Room.
The Museum holds in its collections a number of other Tube-related objects such as posters:
A map that predates Beck’s streamlined design:
And even tiles that were used in stations:
More London Underground objects can be explored through Search the Collections.