Growth of suburbia
After the 1860s, the expansion of local rail lines, underground and eventually Tube services, led to the growth of railway suburbs at the edge of London and beyond. Developers built new housing estates near rail or underground stations, and suburban communities quickly grew up around them, with electric trams and motorbuses making the new suburban lifestyle more appealing and convenient.
The Metropolitan Railway, pushing overground out into London's north-west, became a successful property developer in its own right. The company built housing estates on land alongside the rail lines, creating a commuter area dubbed 'Metro-land'. Posters and a glossy annual guide were designed to attract new homebuyers and promote the suburban ideal.