Well, strictly speaking this post is being written just under a mile from Farringdon, but I liked the alliteration and it’s mainly in honour of a significant birthday that took place this week. On January 9th, it was 150 years since the first London Underground train travelled between Paddington and Farringdon. To mark this occasion, the internet was awash with tributes – many of which were sent my way by fellow TfL geeks. So, I thought I’d keep track of them and share them today…
First and foremost, I suggest you explore the Guardian’s tribute – their entire G2 section was devoted to the tube on Wednesday and it was a joy. My highlights included:
A photo of a disgruntled passenger making use of a board at a station dedicated to passenger feedback. (Could we bring that back?)
A still rather apt example of TfL artwork:
Alternative tube maps have always been a Friday Fun favourite, and I’d already seen several of those featured in this collection, however, this Monty Python spoof which includes instructions on how to remove your appendix on the Piccadilly Line was a new one on me:
I also rather liked this one, designed in the style of Charles Rennie Mackintosh, created as a tribute when he died in 1928:
Sharing that gem leads rather nicely to this Guardian slideshow from 2009, chronicling the history of the tube map. I’ve probably shared it before (perhaps around the time that Boris removed the Thames and then put it back again?) but it’s always a joy to watch its evolution.
Staying with tube history, but moving away from the Guardian, it turns out the British Library is also a haven for transport geeks. In honour of the anniversary, they shared this delightful pamphlet regarding a ‘monstrous proposal!’.
Several kind people pointed me in the direction of Google’s doodle tribute. In the words of my friend Phil: “Google’s all for you today.” And indeed it was:
Which enables me to also share the joyous news that Google have now archived their doodles, so it doesn’t matter if you happened to be offline the day of Robert Moog’s 78th birthday and missed the interactive synthesizer – you can go back and play with it to your heart’s content. The archive also reveals that there are often multiple Google doodles on any one date – what you see depends on where in the world you are. All in all fascinating, and massively time-wasting, stuff.
Finally, because I’ve spent most of the week hacking up my lungs and am currently feeling decidedly sorry for myself, there’s a lot of anniversary tat that could be bought for me in order to cheer me up. (I refer you specifically to the Metropolitan Line inspired handbag – it’s purple, leather and inspired by the tube – what could be more perfect for me??)