Smith's New Map of London


By 1800, the population of London had reached one million, making it the world’s largest city. By the end of the 1900s, its population was approaching five million. The rapid growth of cities such as London created new challenges for mapmakers, including confused street names, the constant appearance of new streets and buildings, and the problem of aligning the trigonometric measurement of streets with actual measurement. Growth also created new demand for maps -- from businesses, insurance companies, government agencies, and tourists. This 1860 map by C. Smith & Son shows a London much expanded from its original core along the Thames River to encompass new boroughs in all directions. The different divisions of the city are color-coded. Charles Smith was a map and globe seller, established around 1800 at 172 Strand, who specialized in maps and atlases of England. Smith’s business later was taken over by his son, and continued until well into the 20th century.

Last updated: July 3, 2014