How map-master Max Gill became the saviour of the London Underground

How map-master max gill became the saviour of the london underground

A stripey serpent writhes up from the middle of Hyde Park, flicking its tongue towards fleeing crowds, as an exotic bird gobbles up a small child in London Zoo, poking its sharp beak through the cage. A hot-air balloon floats over Kennington, and a plane loops-the-loop above Kilburn, while the rest of the city busies itself below with an air of medieval festivity.

As Europe was about to tear itself to shreds in 1914, this is how the London Underground chose to depict the city, with lavish “Wonderground” maps hung in every station. Packed with little jokes and mischievous details, it was a clear bid to cheer up commuters and distract them from the over-crowded, filthy carriages into which they were about to be squeezed.

Often credited as the map that saved the Underground – doing wonders for the public image of a service on its knees – the fantastical scene was drawn by MacDonald “Max” Gill, younger brother of the master sculptor and chisel-wielding paraphiliac Eric Gill. While the elder Gill’s prolific output, and rapacious sexual appetite (which saw him conquer not only his daughters but the family dog), cemented his place in history, Max has been largely forgotten, consigned to his role as the uncontroversial map-making sibling.

Aline Chahine
Aline is an international licensed architect currently practicing in Canada, she is the reason you are reading this right now, Aline founded the platform back in 2008 shaping the very foundation of Architecture Lab, her exemplary content curation process that defines the online magazine today.
Aline Chahine
Aline Chahine
Aline is an international licensed architect currently practicing in Canada, she is the reason you are reading this right now, Aline founded the platform back in 2008 shaping the very foundation of Architecture Lab, her exemplary content curation process that defines the online magazine today. Highlights Aline founded Architecture Lab in 2008 Lead editor of dan | dailyarchnews since 2019 Founded and Creative Director of DesignRaid Licensed architect with creative sales and marketing experience Experience As full-fledged architect, Aline's background involved a great deal of research that lead to the creation of Architecture Lab as an online database of exemplary design. Her experience snowballed into founding two architecture platforms, Architecture Lab and DesignRaid. Education Aline received USEK’s Master of Architecture in 2004 and BA in English from the University of Toronto
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About Architecture Lab Architecture Lab is a MKR.S Media brand, a website devoted to extraordinary design and aesthetics aiming to promote exceptional aesthetic values and sustainable design in all it's shapes and sizes. Learn more about us and our editorial process and feel free to contact us if you would like to see something in particular on the website, our certified experts will get back to you with the most trustworthy advice as soon as possible. Read all articles by Aline | Follow her on LinkedIn

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