SPAIN AND SOUTHERN FRANCE. Escape map on silk.

No place or printer, c. 1942-43.


Printed on both sides in three colours and measuring 37 x 58 cm, previously folded, apart from one small spot, very clean and fresh.

Christopher Hutton (1893–1965) was the sole man behind all escape equipment developed and issued by MI9 during the Second World War. The inventor, journalist and airman had been fascinated since his teenage years by Houdini. Escape maps were printed on silk so as not to take up space; light to carry and silent when unfolded. The authorities were sceptical about the production of maps during the war, but Christopher William Clayton Hutton got into contact with the Edinburgh map makers Bartholomew and Son. One of Hutton's acquaintances was a silk manufacturer from Macclesfiels and the only obstacle remaining was the bleeding of the ink into the fabric, a problem Hutton solved by adding pectin to the ink.