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Learn about the cultural history of Transport for London

Transport for London (TfL) is a historical entity operating for over 160 years. Its iconic services, such as the red buses, black cabs, Tube maps, and the famous roundel, have become globally recognized symbols of London's transport. In collaboration with Arts & Culture, TfL has digitized over 2,000 documents and from its Corporate Archive collections, including hundreds of historical maps, to bring its archives, histories, and stories online for a global audience.

TfL and Arts & Culture are passionate about preserving culture and art. With this new exhibition, we aim to immerse users in the world of transport in a new and accessible way. The exhibition showcases TfL's history, current projects, and cultural contributions, detailing the stories and moments that led TfL to become the institution it is today.

Audiences can expect to find never-seen-before content and stories on the platform. For instance, did you know that TfL owned over 17,000 horses in 1905 or contributed to the World War II efforts by producing 710 Halifax Bombers in just three years? You can also investigate innovative tunneling and construction methods for building the Victoria Line.

Over the past three years, TfL's Corporate Archives team has meticulously sifted through thousands of historic and contemporary records dating back to 1556. They have creatively collated the best content, allowing users to hear firsthand accounts from people sheltered in the Tube during WWII and see imagery and documentation of TfL's involvement in the London 2012 Olympics.

The exhibition also features interactive sections, including a crossword inspired by the 1932 TfL staff magazine, vintage quizzes, and recipes for fixing tea discoloration. TfL's collection has been designed to have broad appeal. Londoners, academics, and casual historians of all ages and backgrounds are sure to find something of interest on the page.

Through sharing insights into the planning and delivery of transport for the capital, TfL's collection on Arts & Culture highlights how innovation and customer satisfaction have always been at the heart of what TfL does. The platform will keep adding more stories from TfL's staff and customers, showcasing how TfL continues to shape the London that we know and love.

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