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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.



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


   

SATURDAY, DECEMBER 31, 2005

≈ Cadillac’s “Car of the Future”

Cadillac’s Eldorado Brougham represents an exciting look into the future of automotive design and engineering. Only 54 inches in height and 210 inches in length, it features low, sweeping lines  . . .  graceful contours of roof and hood  . . .  a unique pillarless door design  . . .  and great areas of vision. Among its interior innovations are specially designed lounge seats, a distinctive vanity case, and a unique instrument panel. The fabulous Eldorado Brougham offers still further evidence of Cadillac’s leadership in automotive styling  . . .  and promises continued progress in Cadillac’s crusade to build greater quality into the American motor car. The Eldorado Brougham will be placed in limited production during the coming year

We’re ringing out 2005 with an artifact from 1955, a promotional illustration from GM’s Motorama car show. The Eldorado Brougham “dream car” displayed that year differed quite a bit from the one that eventually went on sale for 1957 and 1958; we think the Motorama car actually looks a little nicer. Happy New Year!

FRIDAY, DECEMBER 30, 2005

≈ The New American Car With the European Look

The first American car with a real foreign-car look — an impressively long and racy new Studebaker that’s so very low most people can see right over it. Here is the most daring step forward of our times in automobile designing — a car utterly different in style concept — a car sparkling with breath-taking originality  . . .

A few weeks ago when the site had something like a million visitors in just one day (thanks to Kim Komando), we had three e-mails taking us to task for having an “Xmas” section rather than a “Christmas” section. (Short answer: “Christmas” is too long to fit on the index page.) The No. 1 subject on people’s minds that day, however, as indicated by four e-mails, was: Why don’t you have more Studebakers? Especially 1953 Studebakers? (Raymond Loewy would be rather pleased, we imagine, to learn this.) So we went a-rummaging in the great big attic called eBay. Studebaker sales literature of the early to mid 1950s used mostly photographs, heavily retouched, printed in gravure on coated newsprint much like the Sunday newspaper supplements of the era, rather than the lithographed painted artwork used by the Big Three. To make the cars look bigger, Studebaker ads of the period often used pasted-in, scaled-down photos of the people in them so that they were about two-thirds normal size. Which means that 50 years later we’re left with a lot of yellowing, fuzzy-looking artwork of funny little people in some beautiful cars. The underpinnings of the Starliner coupe (oops, “hard-top convertible”) were also the basis of Studebaker’s four-door sedans, which were hung with an increasing amount of gingerbread as the decade wore on. Here’s a Commander sedan (1953? 54?) we spotted a couple years back in Arizona near the town of Jerome.

≈ More Prints

Fifty more, to be specific, thumbnailed here and here. Something for everyone.

WEDNESDAY, DECEMBER 28, 2005

≈ Always up to (a) Date

No more underdrying — no more overdrying. Built-in ultra-violet sun lamp leaves your clothes sunshine fresh. Air-fluffs without heat. Damp-dries, too  . . .

In 1955 RCA sold its Estate kitchen range and air-conditioning lines to Whirlpool for a 20 percent stake in the company. The resulting brand, RCA Whirlpool, lasted until 1966, when the stock was sold and the RCA tag was dropped. The illustration is by Stan Ekman (1911-1997), whose work appears elsewhere on our pages. Take a spin over to automaticwasher.org to see similar vintage appliances, many lovingly restored, as well as some nifty video clips.

WEDNESDAY, DECEMBER 21, 2005

≈ It Sets You Apart — With Spirit

It is literally true that the owner of a 1956 ROADMASTER is one man in a hundred. The arithmetic is this: A little better than one out of every ten new cars on the roads today is a new Buick — and just about one out of every ten of those new Buicks is a ROAD- MASTER. But ROADMASTER distinction goes far deeper than mere numbers imply  . . .

This illustration of a 1956 Buick Roadmaster at CBS Television City in Los Angeles is our last post before we take a break for Christmas. See you in about a week. Happy holidays, everyone! — David

TUESDAY, DECEMBER 20, 2005

≈ Special Edition of the Best Buick Yet

You can see that it’s big, broad, bold and beautiful. And seeing all this, maybe you figured this automobile was something you just couldn’t afford. But listen: This is a Buick SPECIAL — the bottom-priced Series in the Buick line. That means you can afford a brilliant new ’56 Buick if you can afford any new car — because SPECIAL prices are right on the heels of those of the well-known smaller cars  . . .  Here’s the pulse-quickening performance of  a new Variable Pitch Dynaflow — asparkle with brand-new getaway and gas savings at only part throttle — and with a rich reserve of instant switch-pitch acceleration when you need it  . . .

Questions for the car dealers of 2005: Do any of today’s automatic transmissions offer the pulse-quickening performance of Variable Pitch Dynaflow? Are they asparkle with getaway? Do they provide a reserve (and not just any old reserve, but a rich reserve) of instant switch-pitch acceleration? Ha. We thought so. Case in point: The 1956 Buick Special.

MONDAY, DECEMBER 19, 2005

≈ The Most Beautiful Cadillac Ever Built

The 1949 Cadillac is truly a motor car apart from all others. For once again
Cadillac has given the world a new standard of automobile beauty  . . .  The new Cadillac brings important changes to an already famous design. It combines,
even more than before, the most eloquent external beauty with the finest interior comfort, convenience and luxury  . . .  Whenever you see a new Cadillac flash by on the highway you will be impressed by its fleet grace — the smooth flow of body lines into the graceful upward sweep of the rear fenders. You will notice, too, the new massive beauty of the front grille work  . . .

1949 marked the second year for Cadillac’s — and America’s — first tailfins, as well as the debut of GM’s high-compression overhead-valve V8 engine. It also saw, from Cadillac and Buick, some of the best-looking cars ever to come out of Detroit. In the seller’s market after World War II, new cars were scarce as hen’s teeth. That, and the price controls in effect at the time, meant a lot of new-car buyers were slipping extra cash to salesmen for preferential treatment, often in the form of a few hundred-dollar bills “to buy that nice necktie you’re wearing.”

SUNDAY, DECEMBER 18, 2005

≈ Clean Getaway  . . .

. . .  and a big step toward happier living for the whole family — this new bathroom with fixtures by Kohler of Kohler. Happier still are homes with enough bathrooms to give the whole family bathroom emancipation from haste and delay. Cerulean Blue, fresh as a dawn sky, accents the beauty of the Dynametric bath and modern circular Radiant lavatory — both of sturdy enameled cast iron  . . .

From 1960, Kohler of Kohler’s Bathroom Emancipation Proclamation as drafted by the Great Bathroom Emancipator himself, Dwight D. Eisenhower. Look it up if you don’t believe us.

THURSDAY, DECEMBER 15, 2005

≈ That New Car in Your Dreams  . . .

. . .  Can easily become a new Cadillac in your driveway! It is a rare possession, indeed, that communicates the pride and satisfaction that Cadillac owners derive from their motorcars. But you’ll sense it the moment you embark on a journey in the newest “car of cars.” From every side, admiring glances are directed at its distinctive beauty  . . .  at its majestic bearing  . . .  at the elegance and luxury of its Fleetwood craftsmanship. And  . . .  somehow  . . .  the arrival at your destination in a Cadillac always becomes a special occasion  . . .

What  . . .  would Cadillac have done  . . .  if they’d  . . .  never invented  . . .  the ellipsis? From 1959, the cover of the Cadillac “Car in Your Dreams” mailer, featuring the Eldorado Biarritz convertible as well as another stunning model whose name we don’t know. This particular piece was sent from Lansing, Michigan, on behalf of Brogan Cadillac-Oldsmobile of Ridgewood, New Jersey, to one Marie Van Benschoten of Ramsey.

≈ Prints Christmas Deadline

6 p.m. ET today is the deadline to order prints for Christmas delivery. Prints
ordered after 6 p.m. today will be shipped starting the first week in January 2006.

WEDNESDAY, DECEMBER 14, 2005

≈ Great Number to Go “Buy”!

Bright idea  . . .  to brighten all your days!  Include this beautiful Olds “88” in your plans for action  . . .  right now!  It’s the smart time to make your move! Enjoy the big-car beauty of Oldsmobile’s styling leadership as you cruise along the highway in command of the Rocket’s 230 hp high-compression performance  . . .

A nip is in the air, the leaves are changing, and your Oldsmobile Quality Dealer is trying to move the ’56s before the ’57s arrive. Now is the time to make your move and put an 88 Holiday Coupe in the driveway of your futuristic vacation home on stilts. Because there’s nothing like the satisfaction of sitting out a boring round of golf to stare at the side of last year’s car.

TUESDAY, DECEMBER 13, 2005

≈ Longest “Holiday” of the Year!

Right now  . . .  and through every month to follow  . . .  this Oldsmobile Ninety-Eight De Luxe Holiday Coupé  lives up to its name. For indeed, it is powered high, styled low and long, to add a vacation-like zest to driving. Its Rocket T-350 Engine is always ready with a safety reserve of power to make short work of any trip. The relaxing smoothness of Jetaway Hydra-Matic Drive is yours, too  . . .

Mom kept trying to drag us to the beach, but we loved playing on the hot asphalt right next to our new Olds 98. (If there’s one thing today’s cars lack, it’s “vacation-like zest.” Not to mention the relaxing smoothness of Jetaway Hydra-Matic.)

SATURDAY, DECEMBER 10, 2005

≈ More and More Young Folks — Are Getting “Olds” Ideas!

They are enjoying their Holiday while they’re young. To them, it’s an investment in distinctive modern living. And, their Oldsmobile speaks for them! It has sophisti- cation, good taste, and a zest for living written in every clean, functional line  . . .

“Holiday” was Oldsmobilese for the hardtop (pillarless) body style. From 1956, we have a pioneer family enjoying their new ranch house in the suburbs along with their new Holiday in the carport.

FRIDAY, DECEMBER 9, 2005

≈ The Flight Before Christmas

There’s a holiday air high above the countryside — as a TWA Skyliner soars through the still night at unsurpassed speed. It’s a scene of comfortable relaxation and friendly smiles, warmed by the gracious hospitality of your TWA hostess. Faces glow with the thoughts of a reunion almost at hand. For soon, very soon, you’ll land refreshed and rested where loved ones are waiting — back home  . . .

From 1952, a cozy scene by noted automotive artist Peter Helck.

≈ Looking Over the Chrishmish Cards

Two more entries from the seemingly inexhaustible supply of illustrations commissioned by the U.S. Brewers Foundation; over the course of the campaign’s
15-odd years, there were more than a hundred. From 1951, “Out by the Golden Gate,” and from 1953, “Looking Over the Christmas Cards,” both by Douglass Crockwell. For purposes of comparison, our own grandmother, circa 1954, and Christmas at her house in 1961. That’s yours truly on the left. No beer, but there were cigars

≈ Put This in Your Pipe and Smoke It

For Uncle Jim and brother Bill, For Grandpa, Dad and Postman Hill,
For every man that you rate high — Kentucky Club’s the gift to buy.

On, Cupid! On, Vixen! On, Comet! On, Prancer! Down the chimney with this bundle, a festive tin of oral cancer!

THURSDAY, DECEMBER 8, 2005

≈ Whenever Friends Drop Over —

What makes a glass of beer taste so good? Could be the way it “goes with everything.” Beer fits right in with the friendly informal kind of social gathering that’s so typically American. That’s why beer and ale are traditionally considered “America’s beverages of moderation.” Beer Belongs — Enjoy It!

Whenever friends drop over — thud —  it could mean they’ve had one too many. A 1955 installment from the U.S. Brewers Foundation’s long- running “Beer Belongs” campaign, this one illustrated by Haddon Sundblom and titled “Love at First Sight.” Awwww.

     
   
     

TUESDAY, DECEMBER 6, 2005

≈ So Many Scans, So Little Time

Three new images today: Colorado Autocar, Merry Schlitzmas and Après-ski.

MONDAY, DECEMBER 5, 2005

≈ New Standard of the World in Supremacy!

Cadillac’s magnificently new design and craftsmanship are dramatically displayed in the Sixty-Two Convertible. Behind a new windshield of epic proportions, the driver surveys the world about him over a remarkable, low, broad expanse of hood and fenders  . . .  flowing together in one smooth, rhythmic line  . . .

The 1959 Cadillac has become a pop culture icon by virtue of its epic tailfins, but it’s important for another reason. Along with the rest of the General Motors line for 1959, which was largely a response to the success of Chrysler’s 1957 offerings, it established the general wide-low-long dimensions for full-size cars that were the rule until 1977.

SUNDAY, DECEMBER 4, 2005

≈ Getting Ready for Christmas

In this friendly, freedom-loving land of ours  . . .  Beer Belongs — Enjoy It!

This was the mantra of the United States Brewers Foundation, whose promotion of beer and ale (“America’s beverages of moderation”) enlisted notable illustrators in an advertising campaign that lasted from around 1946 to the late 1950s. Here, two Christmasy canvases from Haddon Sundblom of Coca-Cola fame, and Douglass Crockwell.

THURSDAY, DECEMBER 1, 2005

≈ The Chief Rides West

The de luxe, extra-fare Santa Fe Chief  provides daily service between Chicago and Los Angeles, and Chicago and Phoenix. And in conjunction with the 20th Century Limited, Broadway Limited and Capitol Limited, daily sleeping-car service is provided between New York and Los Angeles, and Washington and Los Angeles, without changing cars  . . .

We caught the Hitchcock caper “North by Northwest” on TV not too long ago, which put us in the mood for train travel, and we don't mean Amtrak. We mean crisp white tablecloths in the dining car, a nightcap in club car, and Redcaps at the station. Oh porter, could you change out my room now? From 1947, the Chief, available as a print.

≈ Pop and the Kids

From 1951, Winter Evening at Home” by the illustrator Douglass Crockwell. No. 51 in the series Home Life in America,”  it was part of a long-running print campaign by the United States Brewers Foundation that aimed to make beer respectable. Urp.

≈ Deck the Halls, 1950

Peace on earth starts with peace of mind. At this gay yet solemn season we send our greetings to the millions of  families who already have the security that comes with Prudential protection  . . .

The season was solemn partly because it was 1950, but mostly because five months earlier Communist forces attacked south of the 38th Parallel and captured Seoul, starting the Korean War.

≈ Dinner Will Be Ready in Just a Minute

Pick your favorite foods! Then this imaginary SUPER CHEF assembles your choice from a vast freezer storage, cooks it to perfection by infra-red ray and serves it by conveyor in a matter of seconds! Set the table  . . .  then set the dial! Future meals could be as easy as that with this miracle meal-getter. And maybe tomorrow it will be a reality. You’ll find New Departure ball bearings in almost every major appliance  . . .

From 1955, another of New Departure’s futuristic fantasies speculating on the world of 1965, this one spotlighting the Super Chef Feast Freeze. How about a nice salisbury steak and green peas? What the heck, maybe some mashed potatoes too. No, wait. Carrots!

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