Phyllis Pearsall, the story of A-Z Maps

As an amazing example of DIY creativity and persistence, I agree with the first sentence: “Phyllis Pearsall was a remarkable woman… in 1935 she got lost in London while using a 20 year old street map which was at the time the most recent available. Working from a bedsit in Horseferry Road (in SW1!) and with the aid of James Duncan – a draughtsman borrowed from her father, a Hungarian mapmaker, she began to catalogue the 23,000 streets that featured in the first edition. Working eighteen hour days she walked a total of 3,000 miles in compiling it.

Completed in 1936 she met almost universal apathy from the book buying establishment and so formed the Geographer’s A-Z Map Company and arranged to have 10,000 copies printed – completing all the proof-reading and design work herself. She delivered 250 copies to WH Smith (in a wheelbarrow!) on a sale or return basis and it proved a great success – later the formula was extended to other British cities.”

This entry was posted in Geography and tagged . Bookmark the permalink. Post a comment or leave a trackback: Trackback URL.

Post a Comment

Your email is never published nor shared. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>