Thursday, October 12, 2006

A Beautiful Book

I very much enjoy graphic art of the '30s, '40s, and '50s, so when I happened across CLASSIC RAILROAD ADVERTISING on last week's visit to The Huntington, I had to get it.

The book, by Tad Burness, is filled with beautiful advertisements for rail travel, depicting such delights as Vista-Domes, dining cars, and sleepers. Advertising posters of holiday homecomings and troops traveling by rail during WWII are among the most interesting pages. I particularly enjoyed a '40s ad depicting a college-bound girl traveling by train for the first time; among the things she enjoyed was playing bridge with a couple of soldiers. Another advertisement depicts a sleeper car reserved exclusively for women and children; seems like a great idea to add an extra level of safety, but I wondered if such a thing would inspire a lawsuit today.

CLASSIC RAILROAD ADVERTISING makes a good companion for one of my favorite coffee table books, THE ART OF THE AIRWAYS.

Amazon (subject link) has an excellent bargain book price.


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