Apparently, this is one of the oldest isochrone maps, circa 1920. It shows the “minimum” travel time into the city of Melbourne via suburban railways and tram lines (via Daniel Bowen and Transit Maps).
Transit Maps also points out to this isochrone map of Manchester in 1914. Finally, the Atlas of the Historical Geography of the US of 1932 showed also published a few isochrone maps of American railways in the 1800s. These maps comprise only a small sample of our old obsession with time.
More recently, some people/projects have been applying new technologies to this old obsession with travel times, and the results include some pretty amazing maps. Among many of these new projects, I would highlight two: The great Mapnificent (by Stefan Wehrmeyer).
Ant the amazing work Xiaoji Chen and her maps of Singapore and the isogreenic (!) map of Paris