Another thanks to the Today’s Inspiration Group. Here’s a rough of a pilot figure by well known commercial artist Joseph Christian Leyendecker (1874–1951) from the Great War period, before the US entry into the war, when fashion catalogues would still be around.
The detail in the final image detail dates to 1917 (the preliminary might be 1915 as indicated, but probably closer to the final) the catalogue covering the 1917-1918 period. What’s of interest to us however, is the choice of a pilot for the subject – then, perhaps, one of the highest status, almost unreachable role models.
Technically, it’s interesting in this pre-radio and intercom era that the helmet details have changed significantly from the rough to the final, though both types are based on real, contemporary designs – the rough is in no way an approximation drawn ‘from memory’, but a real, different helmet. Note the ear pieces in both. It’s also interesting that the final character looks more mature than the younger man in the rough.
James Kightly, Vintage Aero Writer.
Images from here in the J.C. Leyendecker folder.