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  A N N O T A T I O N S
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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.



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 history.

FUN A LA MODE
The old Patent Office applications in the PatentRoom are a soft- serve lesson in history. New on the menu: Tees.


 

COME FLY WITH ME
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.



THE ART
of Josh Agle. Martinis, girls, guns. Think James Bond meets Jetsons at a tiki bar in Palm Springs.

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   L I N K A T O R I U M
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PRELINGER ARCHIVE
CAR MANUAL PROJECT
AVOCADO MEMORIES
TV LAMPS
KITTY GIRL VINTAGE
IMPERIAL CLUB
1950s CARS IN NORWAY
WALTER MILLER
McLELLAN’S
IMAGINARY WORLD
RAY PATIN STUDIOS
LILEKS I.O.O.C.
SHAG ART
BUICKS.NET
PALACE OF CULTURE
KING OF THE ROAD
BROCHURES ON EBAY
STARBURST
FRANCISCAN OASIS
FRANCISCAN TRIO
SILVER PINE
SOCIETY of
   ILLUSTRATORS

ADVENTURELOUNGE
PATENTROOM

   

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 of comfort
. . .   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 car.

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 here and here and here.

MONDAY, NOVEMBER 28, 2005

≈ New Standard of the World in Splendor!

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 Value!

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! Santa! DeSotos!  

≈ 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 announced.  

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 Santa Claus.

≈ Heartwarming Tails

The Fire-Chief 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 important.”  

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 blue sedan.

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 Continental’s superb, 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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