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IN THE NEWS
TOUR OF THE MONTH
ON THIS DAY IN LONDON
20th January 1843 Born today: Pierre-Paul Cambon, French diplomat (Madrid, Constantinople, London)
20th January 1779 Actor David Garrick sadly passed away at The Adelphi buildings.
20th January 1382 King Richard II of England was married to Anne of Bohemia in Westminster Abbey.
Creator of the A-Z born here
Phyllis Pearsall, mother of the A-Z, was born here.
Location: 3 Court Lane Gardens, East Dulwich, London
Description: This is where Phyllis Pearsall, the creator of the famous A-Z map, was born to a Hungarian mapmaker and his Irish-Italian artist wife. She had the idea when she became lost while trying to find the homes of people she had been asked to paint.
After coming up with the idea shortly after her 29th birthday, Mrs Pearsall employed some freelance draughtsmen.
The first A-Z Map of London went on sale in 1936
She then set about indexing all 23,000 London streets on foot, and despite scepticism and ridicule, her first A-Z London was on the bookshelves of WH Smith by 1936.
The most recent maps available at the time were the 1919 Ordnance Survey maps.
The A to Z company that Mrs Pearsall founded and supported until her death in 1996 is still going strong today, and employees from the company even meet annually to celebrate the birthday of their much-loved founder.
She was awarded an MBE for her work. She died of cancer on 28 August 1996, a month before her 90th birthday.