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[A vivid poster map advertising the GPO's communication network]

image of Post Office Radio-Telephone Services.


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GILL, Leslie MacDonald.
Post Office Radio-Telephone Services. London: His Majesty's Stationery Office, 1935. Colour lithograph, 990 x 1230mm. A small chip in bottom margin otherwise near mint.
A colourful map of the world, on an azimuthal projection, although Gill has chosen to depict two Antarcticas (one under Australia, the other under South America) rather than stretch the ice out across the bottom of the map. The British Empire is shown in red. In various places around the map are scrolls with literary quotes relating to travel from Ovid, Wolfe, Tennyson and, of course, Shakespeare: his ''I’ll put a girdle round about the Earth in forty minutes'' (Robin, 'A Midsummer Night’s Dream') is placed in the Pacific. Under the map are five roundel illustrations: 'Rugby Radio Station, Telephony Transmitter Room'; 'R.R.S. Main Power House'; 'Faraday Building, London'; R.R.S. Aerial Tuning Inductance'; and 'R.R.S. Demountable Valve'. Bottom right is the new logo of the GPO, also designed by Gill. The company must have been pleased with the result, as the GPO commissioned another map, with the same map projection for their Steamship Routes in 1937. Leslie MacDonald Gill (1884-1947, known as Max), younger brother of Eric Gill, specialised in graphic design in the Arts and Crafts style. His most important commission was from the Imperial War Graves Commission, designing the script used on Commission headstones and war memorials, including the 'Thiepval Memorial to the Missing of the Somme'. His 'Wonderground Map of London', originally drawn as an advertising poster for London Electric Underground Railway Company in 1914, was such a success it is credited with saving the 'UndergrounD' advertising campaign.
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