A N N O T A T I O N S
PASTELOGRAM is named in honor of the poet Marianne Moore, who was
commission- ed by Ford Motor Co. in the 1950s to come up with names for its new mid-priced car.
Among her suggestions: “Pastelogram,” “Turco- tinga,” “Silver Sword,” “Resilient Bullet,” “Utopian Turtletop”
and the especially cryptic “Mongoose Civique.” Ford declined to use any of these and instead went with “Edsel.” The rest is history.
FUN A LA MODE
WE’VE HAD LOTS
of requests asking
the Curator: “You’re so darn modest, we don’t know much about
you. How about posting a picture or some biographical info? And
have I told you about the time I was abducted by aliens?” Well, you get the idea. So here’s a little about our
The old Patent Office applications in the PatentRoom
are a soft- serve lesson in history. New on the menu:
The early aircraft designs on view at AdventureLounge
will take you back, though maybe not all in one piece.
ARE YOUR SCANS limp, lifeless, lacking pep and vim? Visit ScanTips
for fast, safe, effective relief.
of Josh Agle.
Martinis, girls, guns. Think James Bond meets Jetsons at a
tiki bar in Palm Springs.
L I N K A T O R I U M
CAR MANUAL PROJECT
KITTY GIRL VINTAGE
1950s CARS IN NORWAY
RAY PATIN STUDIOS
PALACE OF CULTURE
KING OF THE ROAD
BROCHURES ON EBAY
WEDNESDAY, NOVEMBER 30, 2005
≈ Yesterday’s Trucks of Tomorrow
Ever since the first motor
trucks blazed a trail over dirt roads to bring a fresh concept
in transportation to America’s shippers, the trucking industry
has been leading the way to new sources of transportation
savings and service . . .
Blah blah blah. A 1963 illustration for the Power Controls division of
Midland-Ross, a leader in “vacuum power braking systems.”
TUESDAY, NOVEMBER 29, 2005
≈ New Standard of the World in Majesty!
The Eldorado Brougham is unique
among motorcars. Custom-designed and custom-built, it is
dramatically and classically beautiful. Every advanced feature
. . . convenience . . . luxury . .
. and performance known to automotive science is utilized
to make the Cadillac Eldorado Brougham the source of utmost
pride and pleasure. Cadillac Air Conditioning, Cruise Control
and Automatic Headlamp Control are included as standard
equipment among its many features. Consult with your authorized
Cadillac dealer for details on this limited production motor
With only 99 examples made, the $13,075
Eldorado Brougham for 1959, along with the 1960 model, is among the
rarest of all Cadillacs. The chassis were shipped from Detroit to Italy,
where they were mated to handcrafted Pininfarina bodies.
Interiors were exceptionally elegant.
The unique coachwork, which discarded the standard models’ over-the-top
fins, offered a preview of the 1960 Cadillac at the rear, and of the
1961-62 cars in the windshield and roofline. More reading
MONDAY, NOVEMBER 28, 2005
≈ New Standard of the World in
Only from the great traditions
of Cadillac could there come a motor car as surpassingly fine as
that portrayed below — the 1959 Eldorado Biarritz. Luxurious
beyond description, it offers spectacular performance and
handling ease. Every known motoring advancement makes each
journey memorable. Standard equipment includes a
custom-engineered 345-horsepower engine, air suspension,
electrically powered front seat adjustment, electric door locks
and window regulators . . .
“Luxurious beyond description” was right; the sales literature did not do
the Eldorado justice. We have seen
examples of this particular model, and illustrations cannot begin to convey
the majesty of the car, which is something like a rolling piece of
sculpture. The interior was an
eye-popping example of coachwork an order of magnitude removed from GM’s
lesser offerings. In the coming days, we’ll present more examples from the
1959 Cadillac prestige catalog.
THURSDAY, NOVEMBER 24, 2005
≈ Thank You Come Again
Over in the Gift Shop, our Prints pages
have been updated with spiffy new shopping
carts; shipping and handling are now on a per-order instead of
per-print basis. So come on in, enjoy the Muzak and shop
till you drop. Happy Thanksgiving, everyone.
WEDNESDAY, NOVEMBER 23, 2005
≈ Nothing Like It in Railroading
You’re right, Pop! El Capitan,
fast as the Super Chief, is the only all-chair-car streamliner
between Chicago and California. El Capitan will leave Chicago
and Los Angeles every day instead of every other day as
at present . . .
≈ The Voice of the Atom
When certain of
nature’s elements are exposed to the powerful
radiation of splitting atoms, they become
radioactive themselves, and are called
radioisotopes, which can be detected and
heard with certain instruments . . .
MONDAY, NOVEMBER 21, 2005
≈ An All-Time High in Sales and
Pontiac has just set another
sales record — topping by thousands of cars any similar period
in Pontiac history. America obviously places this ’55 Pontiac
among the outstanding values of all time. The purchase of a
Pontiac steps you at once into the company of fine-car owners.
And so easily, for Pontiac’s exclusive Strato-Streak V-8, Vogue
Two-Tone styling and luxury-car size can be yours for a very
modest cost . . .
In 1955 Detroit moved 8 million cars for the first time ever and Buick
stole the No. 3 spot from Plymouth. From that record-setting sales year, the
Pontiac Star Chief in a nautical setting.
If you look closely you’ll see that Fido is wearing a captain’s cap.
SATURDAY, NOVEMBER 19, 2005
≈ More Prints!
Just in time for the holidays,
two dozen more prints. Edsels!
≈ This Is the Edsel
This is the Edsel and there has
never been a car like it. Originality is clearly written in the
elegance of its every line. From the vertical accent of its
grille to the sweep of its flight deck, here is styling that is
clean, crisp and distinctive. Centered in the steering wheel is
Edsel’s exclusive Teletouch Drive. To go, you simply touch a
button and Teletouch does the rest — smoothly, surely,
electrically. To realize how completely the car’s designers
have spurned the commonplace, how superbly they have created the
Edsel, you must drive it. And when you do, you will know why
Ford Motor Company has proudly named it after Edsel Ford, the
son of its founder. In all its fresh new beauty and all its
advanced engineering, this is the Edsel!
It all started out so promisingly. Foote, Cone & Belding wrote the ad copy,
which served as a template for the text in the sales brochure, a brilliant
example of both the commercial and graphic arts. Here, the
cover illustration and opening verses
from the Book of Edsel.
FRIDAY, NOVEMBER 18, 2005
≈ The 1958 Edsel Citation
For the man who prizes
perfection in all he enjoys, for the woman who prefers the
personal touch in possessions, the Citation is excitingly
new. He will understand the point and purpose of the new
instruments on the panel before him; she will appreciate the
jewel-like precision of Edsel’s exclusive Teletouch Drive — its
convenience to the hand and its swift obedience to command. And
you will want to join both in saying, “This car, with
such lift to its lines, lives up to its looks in every way!”
At the pinnacle of the Edsel lineup was the Citation, available in three
body styles. The sales brochure illustrated an
Ember Red four-door hardtop and
Turquoise convertible coupe.
WEDNESDAY, NOVEMBER 16, 2005
≈ The New Super Chief!
Just wait, cowboys, till you
ride it! The Super Chief, all new from head-end to tail sign,
will embody up-to-the-minute rail travel features. The schedule
will be new, too! The Super Chief will depart from Los Angeles
and Chicago every day. This fine all-first-class streamliner
will be one of a whole fleet of Santa Fe trains soon to be
FRIDAY, NOVEMBER 11, 2005
≈ Never Before a Car So New
You can drive an Edsel — park
it — reverse it — rock it — without lifting a hand from the
wheel. For the buttons on Edsel’s exclusive Teletouch Drive are
correctly placed in the center of the steering wheel. All
shifting, even into “Park,” is effortless because the Edsel
actually shifts itself. The Teletouch button sends a signal to
the rugged, precision “brain” and it does the real work —
smoothly, surely, silently, electrically.
A brace of Citations from the 1958 Edsel sales catalog: At the
station, and in an
illustration Freud might have
had something to say about.
THURSDAY, NOVEMBER 10, 2005
≈ Heartwarming Tale
From Bethlehem by way of
Boston, the story of how I Created
≈ Heartwarming Tails
pups wish you all a furry Merry
Christmas and Happy 1953.
≈ Holiday Party, 1957
We were considering a
caption-writing contest for this particular
image, before our better judgment
said nuh-uh. Illustration by the wonderful Haddon Sundblom.
WEDNESDAY, NOVEMBER 9, 2005
≈ The 8-Transistor Sugarplum
Suspended on cables, this
magnificent spiral staircase gives the impression it floats in
mid-air above the reflecting pool. The kids are more interested
in what they’ve found under the tree. Naturally. Like the
handsome TV, Stereo and Hi-Fi sets and Radios you see here
. . .
From 1961, another of the architectural fantasies featured in Motorola’s “New Leader in
the Lively Art of Electronics” campaign. Most seem to have been painted by
Charles Schridde; this illustration, unsigned, kicks off our new
Xmas section of images.
≈ When Life Gives You Lemon . .
In the superb Corsair Series,
you’ll find a new thrill in Edsel’s way with traffic, hills or
open country running. Edsel has a special ability for getting
ahead in a hurry. You’ll find it perfectly polite — until it’s
prodded. And then you’ll know that you’ve never before handled
so much usable horsepower . . .
Nothing like a nice cold glass of Jonquil Yellow
lemonade before setting off in your brand-new Corsair in Ember
Red and Jet Black. Also pictured: Corsair
coupe under another of Edsel’s cryptic koans.
MONDAY, NOVEMBER 7, 2005
≈ Only 46 Shopping Days Till Xmas
It’s that time of year again, when we dust off
the ornaments, run the tinsel through the dishwasher and start counting
down the days until Thanksgiving! Er, Christmas. Hope you enjoy this big
box of stuff
we found up in the attic.
SATURDAY, NOVEMBER 5, 2005
≈ No Other Car Looks Like the Edsel
From the Ranger’s bold vertical
grille to its new flight-deck design are lines that set a new
direction in automobile styling — a new concept of elegance.
Choose from this Ranger series and you’ll find yourself saying:
“Every Edsel line is original, each new Edsel feature is
The Ranger, at the bottom of the four-series Edsel hierarchy, as well as the
Pacer, one level up, were built on Ford underpinnings. The senior
Corsair and Citation models, at first glance indistinguishable from their
siblings, were not just longer but wider, sharing roofline,
chassis and some body panels with the 1958 Mercury. Here, as we
slowly work our way from the back of the Edsel sales catalog to the front,
are a pair of Ranger coupes — post sedan
and pillarless hardtop.
FRIDAY, NOVEMBER 4, 2005
≈ What Does an Edsel Cost?
The answer will surprise you,
for Edsel is priced to meet many budgets. Prices range widely —
from just above the lowest to just below the highest. This Edsel
Ranger Series, for example, offers the easiest step upward to
Edsel ownership. You pay no premium for its beauty, for though
it acts the way it looks, it doesn’t cost that much.
The answer to the question, if you were Ford Motor Company, was somewhere in
the neighborhood of $250 million. From good old
Form ED 7101, a red Ranger hardtop and
THURSDAY, NOVEMBER 3, 2005
≈ Bonneville for 1958
This steel-muscled road
machine sets a new pattern of dynamic luxury for those who like
their motoring rare and exciting . . . if you
are bored with driving as you have known it, this is for
you. The reason is very simple: Nothing but a Bonneville can
give you the sport-car thrill of unlimited mechanical precision
— and the rich personal pleasures of luxury motoring,
too. For this is a luxury convertible that can groove you
through a curve with welded-to-the-road stability, and meter out
beautifully disciplined power with hair-splitting precision
. . .
The 1958 Pontiac was a one-year-only design that shared its underpinnings
with Chevrolet, the product of an era whose sales priorities put styling on
a par with, or maybe a little above, engineering. The results, in the late
1950s, were some wonderfully strange, even bizarre, automobiles. The
Bonneville Sport Convertible could be
had with leather upholstery and bucket seats.
≈ Yellow Means Go
You will find many things about
this Edsel Pacer that are different than any car you have ever
driven before. The elegant originality of styling — from the
vertical accent of its grille to the sweep of its flight deck,
this classic styling is the Edsel’s and the Edsel’s alone. But
if elegance is the accent, the emphasis is on performance . . .
The Edsel, Ford’s much-hyped newcomer to the midprice field, was a disaster
of legendary proportions, but the sales brochure was a beautiful example of late 1950s advertising. We
present this illustration from Form ED 7101, lithographed in September 1957.
WEDNESDAY, NOVEMBER 2, 2005
≈ A Gallery of Gleam and Go
The dramatic rear fender sweep
of the 1957 Chevrolet is
satin-finished from aluminum patterned sheet. Aluminum,
versatile of texture, can be embossed, burnished,
scratch-brushed, tumbled, etched, hammered, coined . . .
Seated in the “newest Buick yet,”
you will se an instrument panel in richly textured aluminum.
Encasing the seat is a massive sculptured panel of aluminum
. . . The 1957 Cadillac
Eldorado has a grille and emblems of gleaming, gold-anodized
aluminum. Aluminum is the metal of color, of style and fashion . . .
Aluminum engine parts have a lot to do with the
bench-tuned performance . . .
This 1957 exercise in self-promotion from Alcoa used stock publicity photos
to show the various applications of aluminum in the cars of the day. Still to
come: DeSoto Adventurer, Studebaker, Mercury Turnpike Cruiser, Hudson,
Oldsmobile, Chrysler New Yorker.
TUESDAY, NOVEMBER 1, 2005
≈ Happy Holidays, 1952
In time for the holidays,
the official Plan59 Christmas print.
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