Note:  Do not rely on this information. It is very old.

Bradshaws Guide

Bradshaw's Guide. Mr. George Bradshaw, an engraver of maps at Manchester, published some maps of the canal systems of Lancashire, Yorkshire, etc., about 1830. On the rise of the railway system he performed the same service for it. His first railway publication (only four copies of which now exist) appeared October 1, 1839. It was a little book of 28 pp., bound in cloth, and consisting chiefly of maps of towns, with time-tables appended of the few railways then open. Later on, Bradshaw's Railway Companion, also bound in cloth, was issued irregularly as an occasional publication. But the regular issue of the familiar Bradshaw began in 1841, at the suggestion of the London agent, Mr. W. J. Adams. It consisted of only 32 pages; the time-tables were also published in a broadsheet. Shortly afterwards the list of sailings and of steamers was added, and since then, despite much ingenious economising of space and weight, it has swelled to a book containing as much type as twelve volumes of an ordinary 8vo novel, and containing a mass of information nowhere to be found within the same compass. Bradshaw's Continental Guide began in 1847. The early guides (two of which have been recently reprinted in facsimile) are amusing to the modern traveller. Seats in the train were apparently numbered, and booked as in a coach. If a compartment was taken by a party, the fares were reduced. "Glass coaches" were apparently one variety of first class carriage. Passengers were requested "not to leave their seats when the train stops, to avoid undue delay." Mr. Bradshaw was a member of the Society of Friends, and hence the date on the cover long had the form" 1st mo. (January) 1850." He died of cholera while on a tour in Norway, 1853. The Story of Bradshaw has been told by Mr. Percy Fitzgerald, and most of the above facts are taken from his account.