Sponsored Tube Stations, Victorian Style

By M@ Last edited 58 months ago
Sponsored Tube Stations, Victorian Style

Welcome to Victoria, sponsored by Bovril.

This image from the Illustrated London News (26 April 1896) shows a newly installed station indicator on a District line train. According to the caption, 'After the train leaves a station, a bell rings and the name of the next station at once appear.'

Very useful — and a trick that Thameslink still hasn't mastered 120 years later.

But look at the indicator again. The larger writing isn't the station name at all, but that of an advertiser. In this case Bovril, a drink made from ground-up cows.

There's been much talk about adding sponsor names to tube stations, as a means of raising revenue without putting up ticket prices. As with many things, the Victorians were way ahead of us on that score.

Image (c) Illustrated London News/www.maryevans.com via British Newspaper Archive.

Last Updated 10 June 2019