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Navigation aidESSO Scenic Road Maps

1950s Maps from Belgium, Holland and Switzerland

Belgium and Luxembourg

In common with other major oil companies, Esso has generally issued a combined map for Belgium and Luxembourg, although there is a Luxembourg only map shown on the country page.

1956 Esso map of Belgium

1958 Esso map of Belgium

Three basic designs of Esso Belgium maps with photographic covers are known. The first (1951-4) featured the Grand Place in Brussels (not shown); next came Antwerp (far left, 1955-7) and finally Dinant on the Meuse (left, 1958-61). All were slightly smaller in format than most Esso maps. Drawn by General Drafting Company at 1:420,000 (but locally printed) they have four town plans and a pictorial guide on the reverse.

1958 Esso map for the Brussels Exposition

Esso's only map of Brussels was issued in 1958 to help visitors to the World Fair (Exposition Universelle). This is the English & French version (above right) of a map that also appears in a Flemish (Dutch) and a German & French edition.

Top of PageNetherlands

1953 Esso map of the Netherlands

1956 Esso map of the Netherlands

1957 Esso map of the Netherlands

1958 Esso map of the Netherlands

1960 Esso map of the Netherlands

1961 Esso map of the Netherlands

Netherlands Esso maps often featured quite striking designs. All were produced by Topografische Dienst to designs originated by General Drafting Company at a scale of 1:387,000. There are two other designs not shown here:
    1955     Utrecht
    1959     Village with windmill
No version is known for 1954. The 1953 map was the first to use the General Drafting Co design; as elsewhere in continental Europe from 1962 onwards (through to the late 1980s) a simple outline of the country was used on the front cover. Unlike (say) Caltex, which issued several Dutch city maps, none are known from Esso. Esso nautical maps are shown on the Esso cruising map page.

Stan DeOrsey has helped me to date the 1950s Dutch maps from his work on the General Drafting Co archives.

Top of PageSwitzerland

1953 Esso map of Switzerland

1955 Esso map of Switzerland

1956  Esso map of Switzerland

1959 Esso map of Switzerland

Four Swiss maps from (L-R) 1953, 1955, 1956 and 1959. The oldest map is a smaller format (the same size, in fact, as the Belgian maps above) and is at the slightly smaller scale of 1:500,000 - the others are all at 1:460,000. All four maps were drawn by the large Swiss cartographic company Kümmerley & Frey. The locations are given as Ascona, Bern, an unidentified view and the Grimsel pass.

Top of PageThe next three pages focus in turn on maps from Great Britain, Germany and Italy.

Text and layout © Ian Byrne, 1999-2003

All original copyrights in logos and map extracts and images are acknowledged and images are included on this site for identification purposes only.