Friday, October 12, 2012

A Ride on the Metro

In my experience, it is almost impossible to get lost in Paris. As long as you have a Metro map, you can find your way to anyplace in the city. Recently, I took a look at some of the older Paris Metro maps in the Clark Library's collection. The oldest and newest of these maps were both printed for promotional purposes by the department store Galeries Lafayette. The other two maps are fold out pages from guidebooks.

This first map from 1900 is one of those published for Galeries Lafayette. It is a standard map of Paris with a translucent overlay of the Metro system. Although very fragile, this map surely would have come in handy for the disoriented traveler.
Paris: edition speciale des Galeries Lafayette Paris, by George Dreyfus (1900)
This next map is 10 years older and shows very few changes from the 1900 map.

Plan de Paris divisee en 20 arrondissements, by L. Guilmin (1910)
This map is from Muirhead's Paris and Its Environs (1921). It has not only the Metro lines marked, but also bus routes, boats, streetcars, and railways.

From Paris and its environs, edited by Findlay Muirhead and Marcel Monmarche (1921)

This stylized map from 1925 is another printed for Galeries Lafayette and looks a little more similar to the Metro maps that we use today, although the lines are not yet color-coded as they are on modern Metro maps.

Plan de paris en vingt arrondissements : avec les lignes du Metropolitain et du Nord-Sud dresse epecialement pour les grands magasins aux Galeries Layfayette (1925)

Of course, if you're looking for a map to take on your next vacation, this might be slightly more helpful.