The Charles Close Society for the study of Ordnance Survey maps

Digital Images Archive

Ordnance Survey Characteristic Sheet for the Six Inch and One Inch Plans

88. This characteristic sheet, for many years untitled, is recorded in printings back at least to 1852, and there is a strong possibility that the earliest versions would have been engraved without the altitude and geological information added by then. It is one of a pair with one showing 'Examples for the Characters of the Writing to the Ordnance Map of the Scale of 6 Inches to a Mile'. It would appear that the title was added to the present sheet by 1881, and there is a copy in the Library of Congress in Washington D.C. with an embossed printing date stamp of July 1882 that appears to be the same as the present example in all aspects except that the symbol for fort is present there, and lacking here. Other points of chronological interest are the presence of the term “main road”, formally introduced in 1878, footpaths represented by double dotted lines, which were superseded by single line pecks by 1886, and the presence of the new single line with crossbars symbol for tramways, replacing the earlier narrowly spaced parallel lines on the one-inch in 1886.

From a copy in a private collection