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.
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
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
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
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
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.
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
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
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
≈ 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
≈ Looking Over the Chrishmish
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
≈ Put This in Your Pipe and
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
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
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 —
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
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
≈ Pop and the Kids
“Winter Evening at
Home” by the illustrator Douglass Crockwell. No. 51 in the
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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