Historical Map: Philadelphia SEPTA Map, c. 1979-1980
A reblog by cranialdetritus of yesterday’s featured SEPTA map asked whether I had covered the SEPTA maps of the 1970s yet. I hadn’t, and tracking down an image proved a little tricky. The best I can find is a modern redrawing of the map from around 1979-1980 - credit to Lucius Kwok of Felt Tip Software for this work. It seems to be a quite accurate rendition, as the photo above - showing part of a very similar sign that is still in situ - attests.
Have we been there? No.
What we like: Compared to today’s SEPTA map, this is gorgeous. It always makes me sad when beautiful maps are replaced by something nowhere near as good. Of course, the two maps don’t show exactly the same services, so it’s not an apples to apples comparison, but many lessons could be learned from this. The lovely simplicity of the rivers stands out the most, and the interchange station network downtown is deftly handled as well. Commuter rail, which is a horrible, blobby mess on the current map, almost looks graceful here - and it’s a bigger, more complex network!
What we don’t like: The poor old trolleys get short shrift again, with some arrows pointing in the general direction they go.
Our rating: So superior to the current map that it hurts. Four stars.