I’ve always read how well designed HC Beck’s 1933 version of the London underground was. It only occurred to me the other day that I never had seen the old version for comparison. There are definitely significant improvements (…improvements that have proven very useful as the system grew further), but I can’t say it blows me away. Of course, that might be because we now view those design features as commonplace.
I don’t share his lack of enthusiasm. This is probably one of the greatest advances in infographic-mapmaking in the history of mankind. Here’s the before: