Tuesday, November 27, 2007

The Lockheed Constellation

▫ Super Constellation ▫

Considered by many aviation buffs to be the most stylish and memorable airliner ever built, the Lockheed L-049 Constellation, also known as the Starliner, was originally conceived by Howard Hughs in the late 1930s, and designed by noted engineers Kelly Johnson and Hall Hibbard. Its maiden flight was January 9th, 1943, and it saw brief service as a military cargo transport near the end of WW II. But its claim to fame was its service as a commercial passenger airplane. Operated primarily by TWA airlines, the Constellation represented the ultimate in airline performance and luxury well into the 1950s, and was a popular choice for transatlantic travelers. It was the last of the great propeller-driven airliners... being displaced from service during the 1960's by faster, more reliable jet airliners. Of the 856 Constellations built, only five remain in service to this day. The 1953 advertisement pictured above features the L-1049 'Super-Constellation,' a stretched cargo version.

▫ Queen of the Skies ▫

The Constellation was notable for its unmistakable triple-tail design and dolphin-shaped fuselage. With the first pressurized cabin in widespread use, the Constellation, or "Connie", helped to usher in affordable and comfortable air travel for the masses.

TWA used its Starliners in premier long-distance runs, including its San Francisco to London "over the pole" service.

▫ The Leader to Paris ▫

TWA launched the first European flights, to Paris, in February 1946. This original 1946 ad from Time Magazine marked the occasion with a bit of poetry...

'swiftly your Constellation soars outward, swiftly over the rim of the North Atlantic, now racing with the turn of the earth - St. Malo off the starboard wingtip and Paris - proud Paris - on the horizon!'

This lovely image of
a Parisian flower maid, with the Arc de Triomphe du Carrousel in the background and a Starliner cruising high overhead, will make a unique gift for your Francophile friends!

▫ The Leader to California ▫

Here's a wonderful ad featuring a Starliner above the coast of California...

'Westward slips your Constellation, its shadow fleeting on the nation's snowbound farms, humbling the great divide, gliding down Pacific slopes to find the suns and color of the Golden State!... Fly Lockheed Constellation... World Leader in Speed, Comfort, Safety.'

This stunning image featuring green palms and brightly colored Hispanic revelers against the blue of the Pacific will make a wonderful framed gift!

▫ The Joy's in the Journey ▫

Boulder dam as seen from the perspective of a Constellation!

'Here's where you enjoy the going as much as the getting there. Where the eye ranges far and the mind is free of earth-bound cares!'

To travel once in a great, swift Starliner is to know for all time why flying is the way to travel, and TWA the way to fly!'

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

McCall's Magazine Art & Advertising

▫ History of McCall's ▫

McCall's is known by many as one of the Seven Sisters of women's magazines, a group which includes Ladies Home Journal, Better Homes & Gardens, Good Housekeeping, Redbook, Woman's Day, and Family Circle. Advertisers were very fond of these magazines because of their demographic... middle and upper-middle class housewives, who often controlled the purse-strings and made many of the day-to-day buying decisions. Originally published by James and Belle McCall as a fashion illustration pamphlet in 1876, the magazine evolved and was officially named McCall's in 1897. One of the most popular features of the magazine are the many fashion patterns offered. These magazines are wonderful collectors items, and are full of great vintage ads, patterns and plates, and artwork by well-known artists of the times.

▫ Illustrator Malthe Hasselriis ▫

This brilliant blue print was featured in the Style and Beauty section of a 1933 issue of the McCall's. It was contributed by popular illustrator of the 30's, Malthe Hasselriis. While little biographical information is available for Hasselriis, he is probably best remembered for his illustrations of the book 'Tales of a Chinese Grandmother,' by Frances Carpenter. This captivating portrait of a woman with Japanese lanterns is one of my favorite McCall's images. Purchase

▫ Illustrator Eugene Iverd ▫

Eugene Iverd, pseudonym of George Erickson, was one of the most popular advertising illustrators of the 1920's. Some of his most well-known works appeared on Saturday Evening Post covers. He was also commissioned by Campbell's Soup, Monarch Foods, and other major brands of the period. The illustration at left appeared in a 1930's McCall's Homemaking section. This charming portrait of three youngsters skinny dipping is reminiscent of Norman Rockwell, an artist with whom Iverd is often compared. This piece is back in stock! It can be purchased here.

▫ McCall's Fashion Plates ▫

One of the most popular features of McCall's were the fashion illustrations that appeared in each issue. Many styles were original fashion patterns by noted designers, including Chanel and Lanvin. These patterns are popular collectors items for fashion students. They make for appealing wall art when matted and framed, and are appreciated and unusual gifts. For a complete selection of McCall's fashion plates please visit my online store. Purchase

▫ McCall's Advertisements ▫

Of course, each issue is full of wonderful vintage ads, such as this rare 50th anniversary back cover ad for Coca-Cola, celebrating 1886-1936...

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Pontiac Wide-Track Wheels Series ~ 1959 & 1960

▫ A Car for the New Smart Set▫


"Come aboard a 1959 Pontiac and see why this rakish new automobile has been sailing away with the honors this year. Wide-Track Wheel design has played no small part and only Pontiac has it. Anchored, or in action, she's a trim car. Wide-Track Wheel design gives her a sleek, slender, harmonious appearance. She's balanced, not top-heavy, like conventional 'narrow gauge' cars. She a much discussed car, respected, admired and owned by a new smart set tuned to a new kind of automobile perspective."

▫ Introducing the 'Wide Track' ▫

1959 was a landmark year for GM's Pontiac division... as it marked the introduction of a new style... the 'Wide-Track' chassis. This bold styling trend employed a split grille theme, arrowhead emblem, and a new advertising slogan ~ "Wide-Track" or more precisely, "Wide-Track Wheels". The wide wheel base design was employed on three totally new series, the Bonneville, Catalina, and Star Chief. The next two years were witness to a variety of artistic and creative renderings of these automobiles in settings around the world, such as this luxury building with International flags, featuring an elegant creme '59 sedan. Purchase

▫ Bold New Styling ▫

The sleek and luxurious lines of this Wide-Track sedan could not be dampened by poor weather. The black of the umbrellas and yellows of the raincoats wonderfully frame this black '59 Bonneville. The split grille design prominently displayed in these ads remains a hallmark of Pontiac automobiles to this day. Purchase

▫ Emphasis on Luxury ▫

The Wide-Track design not only created an appealing, contemporary look, but also enhanced the performance, ride and handling of the vehicle... but style was usually emphasized over engineering in print advertising art, as demonstrated in this stunning orange ad featuring a Wide-Track outside the famed Shubert Theater. This ad is typical of the vivid and bold colors used to emphasize the modern styling and creativity behind this car, and with it the new decade of the 1960s. Purchase

The Classic Convertible ▫

What car set would be complete without the convertible? Losing the top accentuates the peculiar design of the Wide-Track. The car was much lower to the ground. The wing or fin swept back along the quarter panels, which added to a more streamlined effect. This Bonneville sported the newly designed full glass curved windshield. Purchase

▫ 1960 Bonneville Vista ▫

It's a pleasure to play host in a Wide-Track Pontiac! Pontiac owners could impress their guests with the cars new roominess and luxury... This '60 Vista offered more comfortable seats, added head and leg room, and wider doors for easier entry and exit. Faultless interior appointments, fashionably styled and carefully fitted. The trim body width puts more car between the wheels for greater balance and driving precision. Purchase

▫ Spirit of Creative Design▫

"Pontiac once again shuns the mediocre to create
the Fresh Point of View for 1960.
The prow is proud, pointedly tasteful, and exciting.
The horizontal bars of the grille suggest order.
There's a harmony in the profile,
A new-found freedom and grace, no meaningless adornment."

Be sure to browse all my Pontiac ads in my
eBay Classic Car Category!