Ordnance Survey map

Ordnance Survey map Stroud and Chepstow, Sheet 103, published 1919, reprinted 1929, price 2/6 (12.5p)

The years between the two World Wars were a golden age for motorists, cyclists and hikers.  The cover designs of the Ordnance Survey one inch Popular Edition maps plant the idea that they were the key to the beauty of the English countryside. It made them objects of desire.  This, and many other map covers, was the work of artist Ellis Martin (1881-1977).

Martin worked as a commercial artist before the First World War.  He enlisted in the Royal Engineers and drew military maps.  He joined the Ordnance Survey in 1919 as its first designer and produced this cover shortly thereafter.

“He (the figure on the map cover) is unencumbered by any female, a man’s man…yet a man any woman would be proud to own.  The epitome, in fact of the healthy outdoor male.  What male of this description could resist this map?”

  1. Macer Wright, Country Life, 1969

Stroud and Chepstow OS map Sheet 103