Plane Wallpaper

Another first today, original wallpaper Shared by Don Richardson on ‎America in the 1940s Facebook group, this is a real insight to a really forgotten vernacular household style. Don stated: “We were repairing a water leak in our old house today and found this wallpaper way down deep!”   The Statue of Liberty looks like a…

Imperial Tube

Today’s Poster has an obvious heritage, that of Henry Beck’s iconic London Underground map. Previously ‘forgotten’, it’s an interesting take on the airline and public transport route map concept; something that has much more social history than is often realised. From the new “Airline Maps: A Century of Art & Design” book, details here. There’s…

Belgian Bulldog Breed

Today’s a very early example of aircraft nose art, and something rarely seen in normal anthologies of the genre. A fine painting on the very nose of the nacelle of a Aviation Militaire Belge (Belgische militaire luchtvaart or Belgian Air Arm) Farman F-41. Poster Zdeněk Skolil confirms it’s pilot 1st Sergeant Viscomte Maximilien Vilain XIII…

Bombay over England

Today’s Poster is a classic Shell oil item. The Smithsonian’s catalogue reads: “‘FOR HIGH PERFORMANCE LUBRICATION BY SHELL.’ Framed multi-color print advertising for Shell lubricant. Illustrated with three Bristol Bombays flying over the English countryside.” Artist Karl Felkel (Austrian, 1896–1973).   James Kightly, Vintage Aero Writer. Source, National Air and Space Museum here.

It’s 5 miles Down!

Today a cover for the Airboy pulp magazine. Airships, busty villains, personal escape jets and a five mile drop into the ocean! What more could one want? Well obviously the garish colours, and to read the rest of what happens next. You’re in luck. Image – and the rest of the comic here. James Kightly,…

Pardo’s Push

Today we have a great example where an original commercial painting fulfils an important illustrative role of an event – not otherwise captured in the full colour movie and photo age of 1967. The Vietnam War. It required artist Ken Dallison in Esquire to bring the event to us in pictorial form. The story is…

Toys of Yesteryear

Today a photo of a British toy shop window – A caption gives it as ‘Henley, UK, 1960, by Stuart James’. It’s an interesting mix that social historians could, I’m sure, make a lot of. Aircraft aren’t particularly prominent, but they’re there. Right in the middle, is model box of a de Havilland DH 106…

Sea Clippers, Land Clippers

Today’s poster, by artist Kenneth Thompson, is a ‘Pan American’ (later more familiar as ‘Pan Am’) poster advertising the earlier iteration of their ‘Clipper’ airliners. In the American vernacular ‘ship’ for an aircraft was regularly used, adding another layer to the ‘clipper ship’ call-back to earlier times. Then, a lot of promotion assumed marine aircraft…

See Clearly

Today’s poster and photograph seems clear enough wartime recruitment propaganda, but there’s a bit more to them than meets the eye. Here a woman factory worker is fitting a mount to a clear acrylic dome structure. It’s a nose cone for an American bomber, in this case a Douglas built Boeing B-17F and her head…

Biff! Pow!

Today a cover from a classic American pulp magazine ‘Airboy Comics’. There’s something refreshingly straightforward in their garish colours, slightly random approach to real aircraft, the clear necessity of having some strange (and special) aircraft for the hero, and then, best of all, the special ‘having a fight on the wing of the airplane in…