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Travel by Train: The American Railroad Poster, 1870-1950by Michael E Zega
Synopses & Reviews
Between 1870 and 1950, America's railroads produced a body of poster work significant both for the artists involved and for the range of images created. The railroads used this visual medium from their founding, first in the form of broadsides, dominated by text and intended to convey practical information, and then, during the 1890s, as vivid lithographed display posters. For the next 50 years, American railroads commissioned posters designed to spur the popular imagination and thereby encourage travel. Images of compelling intensity included Maurice Logan's icons of the 1920s overland limiteds passing in the West; Adolph Treidler's wonder cities; Santa Fe's Native Americans; and Leslie Ragan's and Sascha Maurer's machine-age steamliners.
Although a great deal has been written about European railway and travel posters, their American counterparts remained in the shadows. Travel by Train focuses on the artists, railroad men, and advertising agencies that created and produced the work. It presents the posters in the context of the historical trends and competitive strategies that shaped the development of the railroad industry. The book also follows the development of the advertising business and graphic design in the U.S. and Europe. It features approximately 160 poster images (many in color), personal photographs, and sketches, many of them never before published.
Includes bibliographical references (p. 133-135) and index.
About the Author
Michael E. Zega has researched and written about railroad advertising and promotion for the past decade and contributes to many magazines, including Vintage Rails, Classic Trains, and Journal of the Southwest. He lives in New York City.
John E. Gruber of Madison, Wisconsin, is president of the Center for Railroad Photography and Art and editor of its magazine, Railroad Heritage. He is contributing editor to Classic Trains, preservation columnist for Trains, and co-author of Caboose (2001).
Table of Contents
Chapter 1: Before 1900
Early Poster Antecedents
The Rise of Competition
The Lure of Place
"Reason Why" Advertising
The Lithographed Display Poster
Oscar Binner's Gigantic Images
Chapter 2: 1900-1909
Urban Display Windows
Design in the New Century
Chapter 3: The Teens
Emerging Corporate Imagery
The Power of Symbol: Louis Treviso's Santa Fe Posters
Chapter 4: The 1920s
"Sell Them Scenery, Not Plush Chairs."
Santa Fe and Sam Hyde Harris
Southern Pacific and Maurice Logan
Back East: The New Haven Begins
New York Central's Art Posters
Hernando G. Villa and the Santa Fe Chief
The Canadian Pacific and Others
Chapter 5: The 1930s
The Streamliner Image
The Southern Pacific Studio
Sascha Maurer: The Appeal of the Machine
What Our Readers Are Saying
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