Mass transit systems are a marvel of the modern world, not only in functionality, but also design. A good transit map combines the best of both of those worlds and, consequently, can be the subject of much fanfare, as evidenced by the success of Mark Ovendeen's Transit Maps of the World. The book has been recently reissued in expanded and updated form, and includes subway, light rail, and streetcar maps from cities around the globe. The gorgeous and comprehensive collection contains many modern maps, but we've compiled fifteen historic ones to ogle—some of which were put to use while others never made it beyond planning stages. To see more of the awesome feats of modern cartography (there are literally hundreds!), you can buy the book here.

For better detail, click to enlarge.

1. ANTWERP, BELGIUM


"Pre-Metro" system map, from circa 1970. Credit: collection of Richard Thorogood

2. BERLIN, GERMANY


From circa 1910. Credit: collection of Axel Mauruszat

3. BERN, SWITZERLAND


From the 1990s. Credit: collection of Richard Thorogood

4. BOSTON, MASSACHUSETTS


1967 map. Credit: collection of Richard Thorogood

5. CHARLEROI, BELGIUM

 

Unrealized 1970s map. Credit: collection of Mike Ashworth

6. GOTHENBURG, SWEDEN

 

 

1966 map. Credit: Mike Ashworth collection

7. LIMA, PERU


Proposal from the 1970s. Credit: collection of Richard Thorogood

8. LONDON, ENGLAND

 

1908 map. Credit: collection of Peter Lloyd

9. MARSEILLE, FRANCE


1977 map. Credit: collection of Richard Thorogood

10. LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND


Proposal from the 1970s. Credit: collection of Mike Ashworth

11. MOSCOW, RUSSIA


1965 map, used only twice. Credit: collection of Peter Lloyd

12. NEW YORK CITY, NEW YORK


1958 map, digitally remastered by Max Roberts.

13. PARIS, FRANCE


From 1916. Credit: collection of Julian Pepinster

14. PHILADELPHIA, PENNSYLVANIA


1904 trolley map. Reproduction courtesy of the collection of Norman B. Leventhal Map Center at the Boston Public Library

15. WASHINGTON, D.C.


1880 map of street railways. Credit: Library of Congress