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London memories; Denham, by Emilio Camilio Leopoldo Tafani, 1918

  • Published by Underground Electric Railway Company Ltd, 1918
  • Printed by Avenue Press Ltd,
  • Format: Double crown
  • Dimensions: Width: 508mm, Height: 762mm
  • Reference number: 1983/4/711

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Underground posters and the First World War

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Beyond the city

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Leisure travel into the area now known as Greater London (and beyond) was promoted to increase revenue during off-peak periods. For similar commercial reasons, commuters were encouraged to live further out from the city in the new suburbs. Posters advertising days out by tube, bus or tram, were prominently displayed at station entrances and on the vehicles themselves. They include some of the most attractive and evocative posters produced by the Underground/London Transport.
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Towns & villages

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Early Underground posters encouraged Londoners to visit the 'old world' towns of Uxbridge, Edgware, Harrow, Chigwell and elsewhere. Many of these destinations were swallowed up by the expansion of Greater London during the 20s and 30s. Consequently, posters promoted day trips to towns even further afield, including St Albans and Tunbridge Wells. Some of these were aimed at commuters who had moved out of the city to the new suburbs.
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Wartime London

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The Underground Group, and later London Transport, produced a wide variety of public information posters during the First (1914-18) and Second (1939-45) World Wars. The majority of wartime posters advised staff and passengers on emergency rules and regulations. Others were more overtly patriotic, often focussing on the valuable war work undertaken by transport employees. Some First World War Underground posters even urged onlookers to enlist with the armed forces. During the Second World War, posters were also used to explain tube 'etiquette' to the vast numbers of war workers and servicemen using the underground for the first time.
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First world war

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First World War posters often carried a direct propaganda message. Before conscription was introduced (1916), the Underground published recruitment posters urging men to volunteer. Another series, depicting rural England, was commissioned to send to British troops overseas as a reminder of what they were fighting for. Back home, posters advised Londoners of wartime regulations and what to do in the event of an aerial attack. Some posters continued to advertise day trips, until fuel shortages put an end to non-essential travel.
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