Margaret and John are visiting Paris.
Paris is a big city, and one day, they get lost. Suddenly, John realizes that they do not have any tourist map or metro map of the city. So they go to the Tourist Office, called the "Syndicat d'Initiative de Paris", (their hotel is nearby) and take one of the great maps published and offered by the "Ministère des Travaux Publics, des Transports et du Tourisme".
Thanks to this great map, and its representation of monuments, parks, and the main buildings of interest, they can now find their way in the beautiful capital of France and choose what to visit in priority.
Margaret and John do not wish to take the bus, although they could see more of the city, because they have very little time left and need to circulate quickly between one place to another. The very clear metro map, allowed them to do that. However, the map also presents a list of all Paris buses with their main stops.
Their map also shows a map of the 20 districts of Paris ("Arrondissements"), the Chief roads into, and out of, Paris, and the addresses of the main Tourist Offices in France.
You can see "Margaret" and "John" on the red presentation pages of the map once it is folded.
Of course this is only a fiction, and unfortunately I do not know the real names of this couple who is consulting the map on the picture.
When was this map made ?
I have found a certain number of clues. Here they are, from the less precise to the most precise.
- The "Syndicat d'Initiative de Paris", which is mentioned on the reverse side of the map, was the former name of the "Office du Tourisme". This Office du Tourisme was created in 1971.
- The fashion that "Margaret" and "John" are wearing, is typical of the end of the 1950s / early 1960s Paris fashion.
- The phone numbers beginning with letters (please see reverse side of the map) were abolished in Paris in 1963, which excludes that the map could have been made after that year.
- Finally, this map was obviously made at the end of the 1950s and not in the early 1960s, as the "Ministère des Travaux Publics, des Transports et du Tourisme" (which was created in 1948) was replaced in 1958 by the "Ministère des Travaux Publics et des Transports", which was also in charge of tourism (but I am not sure about this info, though) although "Tourism" did not appear in the name anymore.
This is the only clue that can date the map with precision. The exact date of this map is unknown, as it is not written on the map itself.
Some details on the metro map are very interesting:
- the presence of the metro station Martin Nadaud, on line n°3, in the east of the city, a station that was closed in 1969 (actually it was not closed but it merged on that date with another station).
- The station Arsenal, between Bastille and Quai de la Rapée, on line n°5, was closed in 1939, but is still indicated on the map. The reason is unknown, but I suggest the French transportation company thought they might reopen this station in the future.
- The black line from Luxembourg to the southern suburbs, which was still called "S" and was not yet extended to the north of Paris.
- The line number 10, between Sèvres Babylone and Odeon, still shows two stops, although it only has one nowadays (Mabillon) : Croix-Rouge, a station that was closed after the war as it was too near Sèvres Babylone. Sometimes, on older maps, Croix Rouge just appears as a dot on the line, without its name, but it is actually named on this map.
When folded, this map measures 10.5 cm x 16 cm
When unfolded, it measure 31 cm x 40 cm
It is in very good condition.