Harry Wharton Ford, 1875 – 1947

From the website of the London Transport Museum:

“Born in Hampstead, Harry Ford was articled to F W Hunt prior to becoming assistant to Messrs Aldwinckle, Bressey and Dighton Pearson.
He was appointed Architect to the District Railway in 1900. Although he resigned from this post in 1911, he continued to work for the company for a further 5 years whilst in private practice. He spent a short period working for the Admiralty in WW1, when he drew-up the plans for the conversion of Ditton Park at Datchet into the Admiralty Compass Observatory then returned to private practice, acting as surveyor for the United Synagogue for many years. He retired in 1945, and died two years later.Ford’s impact on London’s railway architecture was considerable. He was responsible for new District Railway stations such as Barons Court (1906), and rebuilt others when electric traction was introduced in the early 20th century. His stations characteristically featured the use of brown terracotta facing, though sometimes employed Portland stone instead. Other surviving Ford stations include Temple, Embankment, the Earl’s Court Road frontage at Earl’s Court, and Fulham Broadway. Ford also claimed the credit for designing both the familiar Underground bullseye (or roundel) nameboard (1908), and the ‘UndergrounD’ style of lettering, which swiftly established itself as a trading name for the Underground Group (of which the District Railway was a constituent) following its introduction in 1909. Other writers have disputed Ford’s claims, although they concede that, because of his position, he was likely to have had some input into design matters.”

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