Edward Stanford took over Reynolds's map plates. He retained updated the railway lines and introduced colour printing, but otherwise kept the map design and Reynolds's basic organisation. Stanford's first edition in 1904 had a new and expanded text including the geology encountered along main railway routes and added fossil plates in 1904. Stanford's second edition of 1907, the Geological Atlas of Great Britain and Ireland, added north and south maps of Ireland with text. The third, 1914, added the Channel Islands. There was a Photographic Supplement to Stanford's Geological Atlas of Great Britain and Ireland in 1913.
Reynolds's and Stanford's atlas editions were popular and much used. They were not durable and mostly survive as broken volumes and individual maps. The maps remain very popular, being small, affordable and colourful and, for the English, focused on counties.
A 1964 edition, published with reduced Geological Survey maps without colour, was not a success. Despite being more up to date and having integrated maps and descriptions, it was visually dull and the maps were difficult to read without colour.
James Reynolds published his first atlas Geological Atlas of Great Britain in 1860. It consisted of maps of English Counties, some individually and some combined, together with maps for Wales, each in north and south parts, and a folded map of Scotland. The maps were hand coloured and opened into a double page spread with a central fold. The maps did not have legends, but a common legend folded out so that it could be read while the atlas was open at each map.
The preface included a double page geological map of England and Wales and a single page compilation of all the peaks in a stylised form giving heights and era of formation.
Accompanying the maps was a text by Prof. John Morris, which briefly outlined the geology with more detailed descriptions on a county basis. A second edition was published in 1889 with a revised text by Mr. Robert Etheridge. Again the maps were hand-coloured.
These atlases were very popular. They were pocket sized at 7.5 by 5.25 inches and intended to be taken on journeys. The railways were opening up Britain to more people and there was great interest. Intact copies of these atlases are rare. They were cheaply made and aimed at a large general interest market. The bindings used a rubber, gutta percha, with the page edges and map folds glued directly to the spine. Use of the atlas flexed the spine which cracked. As the rubber aged it became brittle and the pages became unstuck. One is lucky if one finds a copy tied together with all its pages. The maps were printed with margins of less than a quarter inch, frequently with detail that breaks the border printed to the edge of the page. No room for notes, and difficult to mount and frame the loose pages with little or no margin. Stamford acquired the plates from Reynolds and Sons. He published a completely revised edition in 1904,'based on Reynolds's Geological Atlas' and colour printed and in the same format. The 1904 edition does not actually state the edition number. Aware of the physical limitations of the earlier editions, Stanford improved the binding by separating the spine from the binding but he retained the gutta percha rather than using the conventional and more costly stitched binding. So, intact copies are rare, but they do survive. HB Woodward wrote a new text with a greatly expanded systematic overview adding a single page map of Great Britain. More thorough descriptions of Scotland and of Wales by counties and descriptions of the geology along principal railway routes were added. The map of Scotland was printed in two parts in the format of the all the other maps. The base maps were updated to include new railways. Following the maps there was an entire new section of 50 plates of fossils organised chronologically. The text is clearly cross-referenced to the maps and the fossils plates.
The 1904 edition was a great improvement. In 1907 a second Stanford edition was published as Stanford's Geological Atlas of Great Britain and Ireland with new maps of north and south Ireland and extended text to describe Ireland. In 1914, the third edition was published to include the Channel Islands. A Photographic Supplement to Stanford's Geological Atlas of Great Britain and Ireland was published in 1913 it was produced by Miss Hilda Sharpe. It is cross referenced to the second edition and by Woodward in the third edition. It was published in matching covers in the same format and intended to be a companion volume. The pictures, 2.5 by 3.5 inches, are remarkably clear and finely printed. They are described with references to relevant memoirs and texts of the day. All photographers were acknowledged. The photos are in chronological order with a good geographic spread except for the omission of any photos of Ireland.
In 1964 a completely new edition was published. Although the name Stanford's Geological Atlas of Great Britain was retained, it is not referred internally as the fourth edition. It is more in the style of a British Geological Survey regional memoir. The county organisation was abandoned in favour of regional descriptions with regional maps of the BGS 10 mile to the inch integrated with the up-dated text. Ireland was dropped, including Ulster. The National Grid lines at 10km intervals are on the maps but without the grid numbers. Most unhappily for an atlas, no colour was used and the map scale was reduced by 20%. Not surprisingly, this edition was not popular and few survive but those that do are in good barely used condition, generally as ex-library copies.