George Philip and Son is one of the oldest UK publishing companies. The company was founded in Liverpool in 1834, opening a second branch in London in 1851-2. Originally a bookseller and stationer, its business expanded into the publication of (mainly) atlases, maps, textbooks, and books on meteorology, religion, history, and geography. Some of its well-known publications are the Philip International Atlas and A Philip Management Planning Atlas. The company, still flourishing in 1988, was sold to the Octopus Publishing Co (part of Reed International), and continued to trade as George Philip Ltd.
Our map, dating from around 1910, is unusual in including a handy tape measure (in half-inch segments - the map being scaled at 3.5 inches/mile, and marked in quarter-mile squares). The map, on paper backed with linen, is in excellent condition, if a little grubby with age, and shows the Edwardian landmarks such as the river, parks, main roads & railways. It covers the area from Peckham & Hackney in the East to Barnes & Willesden in the West.
It is contained within dark green cloth boards with decorative black borders, the front board bearing the title etc in worn white lettering within a black line panel, and the back having a diamond-shaped motif in the centre, as well as the external metal portion of the pin holding the tape 'Orientator'; the title and price (5/-) are in white letters on the spine. Inside, the deep spine is clearly designed for the tape to be folded within it, the map is on the right-hand side, and a 73-page list of streets, with 7 pages of 'reliable firms in London', and two pages of advertisements, occupy the left hand side. The map's extended size is 35 by 24 inches (c.860 x 590 mm), folding to 7 by 4.5 inches (175 x 110 mm). The whole is somewhat age-worn - the white lettering in particular very faded, the corners bumped (but with no frank damage), and some minor shelf wear to top & bottom of the spine - but in general is a very nice survivor for its age. The street list is very browned, and its sewn binding is somewhat loose, but there are no missing or loose pages. The 'Orientator' tape is rather crumpled, but intact and firmly fixed. The map itself is clean and bright, with some minor wear along some of the folds.