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Steamer Trunks and Gang Planks
June 6, 2009 4:22 PM   Subscribe

Travel Posters — a Flickr set from the Boston Public Library. "Combining superb illustration and hand-drawn typography, they produced dazzling images in rich vibrant colors rendered through the magic of stone lithography." (via)
posted by netbros (15 comments total) 26 users marked this as a favorite

I like that certain blend of old-school exotica and bold Art Deco styling as seen in many of these. Love this one, for example, and this one.

Got me to thinking about exoticism and its uses in travel advertising. In these examples, it seems a quaint thing of the past, but it's still alive and well, especially in advertisements about travel to China, Korea, Malaysia, etc. that are aimed at Westerners. It's all leaping Peking Opera acrobats and dancing dragons, crowded night markets full of colorful *Orientals* serving up steaming bowls of noodles, and the obligatory gorgeous Asian woman, her dark eyes turning toward the viewer, beckoning, mysterious, enigmatic... things haven't changed all that much.
posted by flapjax at midnite at 5:23 PM on June 6, 2009 [2 favorites]

Oh my heavenly codfish, yes.

If there's a phrase more romantic than "Transatlantic Crossing," I haven't met it. Thank you for these!
posted by chihiro at 6:29 PM on June 6, 2009

I want a poster of this PNW one. The 1932 Olympics one is good too. I love all the Australia-area ones too.
posted by mathowie at 6:46 PM on June 6, 2009

If I recall correctly, the South Manchuria Railway company had sort an unsavory reputation as a instrument of Japanese imperial control over the Chinese. Sort of weird to see its attractive period illustrations.
posted by shothotbot at 7:02 PM on June 6, 2009

If I recall correctly, the South Manchuria Railway company had sort an unsavory reputation as a instrument of Japanese imperial control over the Chinese.

Indeed, you recall correctly. Of course, Imperialism and tourism are not unfamiliar bedfellows.
posted by flapjax at midnite at 7:04 PM on June 6, 2009

There is some cool Red Sox stuff in the photo stream too, If you like that sort of thing.

Which I don't but offer as a service to my Boston Friends. Go Yanks!
posted by shothotbot at 7:08 PM on June 6, 2009

I love old travel posters! So pretty. There are more in this set. Also good:
Art of the Luggage Label
(similar previously).
posted by dreamyshade at 7:34 PM on June 6, 2009

This era of poster art, particularly the WPA works, is my favorite ever. I have a couple reprints of some travel posters up at home.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 7:40 PM on June 6, 2009 [1 favorite]

My old roommate had the Palestine one up in our living room, and it got an Israeli friend of mine all nervous about meeting him, because she thought it was a political statement and that he'd engage her in aggressive arguments about Israeli/Palestinian politics. Then we realized it was from 1936 and she relaxed.

Love these posters. There's an innocence to them.
posted by lunasol at 8:07 PM on June 6, 2009

Not specifically travel, but more posters.
posted by fings at 9:54 PM on June 6, 2009

Marvelous set of travel posters! Almost every one gives me delighted oohs and ahhs. Nice find netbros.
posted by nickyskye at 10:19 PM on June 6, 2009

This is awesome. Still working thru 'em. the Lausanne-Ouchy is one I have been looking for at reproducible rez for nigh on 20 years.

As most of these are from the 20s and 30s, it's useful to remember the direction the political winds were blowing in when the amazing graphics in the Austria and Italy posters were produced.
posted by mwhybark at 10:27 PM on June 6, 2009

This one.
posted by mwhybark at 10:57 PM on June 6, 2009

FYI ... in Boston there's a great vintage poster gallery on Newbury Street (a block away from the BPL): International Poster Gallery with quite a collection of travel ones.
posted by ericb at 10:53 AM on June 7, 2009

Wow, these are beautiful.
posted by thisperon at 7:03 AM on June 9, 2009

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