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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



   

FRIDAY, MARCH 31, 2006

Some Enchanted Evening

Is there anything that says romance like a nice quiet candlelight dinner for five?
They didn’t call it the Swinging Sixties for nothing. (Note that the tapers are on a
Lazy Susan. Talk about spinning some wax. Please, no twirling.) Home of the
William R. Shaws, Bloomfield Hills, Michigan, 1960. Plus one, two, three more.

Reconditioned for Performance

Volume trade-ins on ’58 Chevies make possible bigger selections and bigger savings. Late model OK Used Cars with fewer miles on the speedometer mean more miles of shipshape performance  . . .

Baseball, Apple Pie, Etc.

Enthusiasm, optimism and good will are fine. But when promises are made in writing and signed as are our OK Used Car warranties, your assurance rests on facts  . . .

We’ve been putting in some new equipment this week and have the skinned knuckles and frayed nerves to prove it. And who are we doing it for? That’s right, you. Because without you we would dry up and blow away — empty, desiccated husks drained of hope and the will to live. Without the Eizo 24-inch Calibration Color Monitor. We would also be network cardless. Not to mention French art paperless. But we have these things. Because we have you. We heart you.

SUNDAY, MARCH 26, 2006

Pontiac Launches a Trim Traveler

Come aboard a 1959 Pontiac and see why this rakish new automobile has been sailing away with the honors this year. Anchored or in action, she’s a trim car. The Wide-Track Wheel design gives her a sleek, slender, harmonious appearance. She’s balanced, not top-heavy like conventional “narrow-gauge” cars. She’s a much discussed car, respected, admired and owned by a new smart set tuned to a different kind of automobile perspective. These are tasteful Americans fascinated by the clean, fresh lines; spirited men and women inspired by the good solid feeling of this road-hugging beauty. Your Pontiac dealer has several in port, shipshape and ready for you to take on a cruise this week. Give him a call  . . .

Regarded by the automotive press as the year’s best-looking car, the 1959 Pontiac is being pitched here to the sailboat-owning, conga-playing, beard-wearing crowd — beatniks with money. Keyed to an exhibition at the Detroit Public Library, there was a March 13 article in the New York Times about mid-century car ad art, and the various methods employed to make the product look sleeker than it actually was. Headline: “When Cars Sat for Portraits, the Truth Was Often Stretched.” Excerpt: Art Fitzgerald and Van Kaufman were renowned for images promoting Pontiac’s “Wide Track” feature — a low stance and a wider placement of the wheels — in works that portrayed visibly distorted versions of the cars. The measure of their mastery was not that they exaggerated the shapes but that they did it so subtly. Such manipulation was common. In some cases, the show’s curators said, skilled specialists took photos of cars, sliced them up and separated the pieces ever so slightly to produce an elongated image for painters.

FRIDAY, MARCH 24, 2006

Chevy’s New and Chevy Shows It

Chevy goes ’em all one better for ’57 with a daring new departure in design (looks longer and lower, and it is!), exclusive new Turboglide automatic transmission with triple turbines, a new V8 and a bumper crop of new ideas including fuel injection!

Ford and Plymouth fielded all-new, radically changed cars for 1957 while Chevrolet had to make do with a face-lifted and slightly stretched version of a design in its third and final year. Yet it’s the Chevy that people remember. With retro styling and tribute models popular in Detroit (PT Cruiser, Mustang, Thunderbird etc.), here’s our idea for a 1957 Chevrolet 50th anniversary special edition.

Fresh Prints of Bel Air

You’ll feel a very special kind of pride the day you park a 1957 Chevrolet in your driveway. Maybe you’ll even find yourself looking out the window now and then, just for the pleasure of seeing it there. And when the neighbors drop by to “look ’er over,” you’ll be prouder than ever. They’ll want a ride around the block to see if Chevrolet is as sweet, smooth and sassy as it looks. That’s how people become happy Chevy owners  . . .  Chevrolet Division of General Motors, Detroit 2, Michigan.

This rendering of the Chevy Bel Air by Bruce Bomberger is available as a 50th-anniversary print in the Gift Shoppe.

Fiesta-in-a-Can

In 1952, adventurous eating could entail heating up a can of Spanish rice. Or if you wanted something really exotic, chili con carne or maybe even tamales.  The muchacho in the sombrero was painted by Nat “El Blanco” White.

Full of Beans

Another of Nat White’s li’l gargoyles. The slogan here was “Every Meal a Picnic,
Every Picnic a Frolic.” Which of course equates to every meal being a frolic. Whee.

THURSDAY, MARCH 23, 2006

More Mommy!

And if we’re all out of Mommy, a nice steaming plate of Daddy will do.
From 1953, yet another of Nat White’s squinty-eyed little cannibals.

WEDNESDAY, MARCH 22, 2006

Eager to Please  . . .  That’s Chevy!

The sweet, smooth and sassy Chevrolet looks as high-spirited as a colt in clover. And the lively, lighthearted way it responds to your touch makes for the happiest driving you’ve ever known. If your heart’s been giving you a nudge each time a new Chevy glides by, better face it! Put the car through its sweet, smooth and sassy paces at your Chevrolet dealer’s  . . .  Chevrolet Division of General Motors, Detroit 2, Michigan.

This Sunday-supplement illustration contrasts the fins and exhaust of a fighter jet with its counterparts on a ’57 Chevrolet. The dummy scoop under the car’s fake exhaust port (actually a backup light) was modeled after the front air intake on a P38 fighter, whose tailfins and radiator vents were famously copied on the 1948 Cadillac.

TUESDAY, MARCH 21, 2006

I Think We’re Being Followed

Chevy’s velvet-smooth vitality and road-leveling ride put more pleasure in your driving. And its smoothly sculptured lines and fine finishing touches give you more to be proud of. That’s the beauty of a Chevrolet. Its gay, graceful styling promises a lot of pleasure. And it sure lives up to its promise! The closer you look at it, the more you find to be proud of.  You begin to see what we mean by sweet, smooth and sassy  . . .

One of the rarer ’57 Chevy ads, destined for newspapers rather than magazines. There probably aren’t many color examples in existence.

Doing the Continental

On the following pages, you will see  the Lincoln Premiere, the Lincoln Capri and the magnificent new Continental Mark III — cars so new, so advanced, that a completely new plant was built to produce them. These motorcars are so gracefully proportioned, you may have difficulty realizing that the sedan, for example, is the longest, lowest, most spacious of all time (more than 19 feet). It’s so low and snug-to-the-road, you’ll be astonished by the roominess when you step inside  . . .

The 1958 Lincoln, a car whose visage could scare small children and startle horses, was a challenge to portray in two dimensions. Many an art director careless enough to have it photographed from the wrong angle was turned into a pillar of salt. To play it safe, the lead illustration for the sales brochure showed a black car on what looks to be a very foggy night. The design, a departure from the baroque styling of Cadillac, was maybe too far ahead of its time. Lincoln spent the next two years backpedaling to a more conventional look, with mixed results. The 1960 model, the final iteration of John Najjar’s design before the Kennedy-era Continentals, could be summed up as Asian Mae West gets origami bustle. 

Built Stronger to Last Longer

The designers of the 1948 Ford truck catalog probably wanted the cover
to say Buy Me, but what they got instead was Take Me to Your Leader.

Tomater Tot, 1952

Another of Nat White’s urchins. This time the little guy is actually kinda cute.

SUNDAY, MARCH 19, 2006

1958 Continental Mark III

Whichever incomparable Continental you select, you will discover in full measure why ownership of this superb automobile is one of the satisfactions of a lifetime. You will find it a supremely restful car to ride in — regardless of terrain. And with every known power assist, you will find it a supremely easeful car to command  . . .

The handsome couple next to this handsome car, first of the mammoth unibody Lincolns,  also graced the cover of the 1958 Chevrolet brochure.

SATURDAY, MARCH 18, 2006

The Joy of Good Eating, 1953

You thought we had run out of Demonic Tots? Heh heh. From the brush of illustrator Nat White, here’s the first of the latest litter of Pork-N-Beanie Babies.  Stay tuned.

FRIDAY, MARCH 17, 2006

The Slides of March

For St. Patrick’s day we have a special treat — five vintage photos from the Emerald Isle! And by Emerald Isle of course we mean lush, verdant Hawaii. These are scanned from slides sent in by Plan59 friend Tom Munoz in California, where he found them in a thrift shop. Two pictures are from the 1959 volcanic eruption on Kilauea, which over a period of days buried the village of Kapoho under 50 feet of lava and ash. The remaining photos seem to be from California and Canada. Traveleze fans take note.

TUESDAY, MARCH 14, 2006

Sweet, Smooth and Sassy

Trips never seemed so short — or roads so smooth — as they do in this beautiful traveler. It’s sweet, smooth and sassy, with a new velvety V8 power and a sure-footed way of going that’s Chevy’s alone! Cars with Chevy’s born-to-the-road build are hard to come by these days. In addition to designing a car that’s just plain good to look at, Chevrolet engineers didn’t forget that a car’s first obligation is to ride, and ride well.

While Plymouth and Ford were fielding dramatically new longer-lower- wider models for 1957, Chevrolet had to make do with a short-tall- narrow design that was in its third and final year. With the addition of pointy fins, a new grille and 2½ inches, the result was an automotive icon — probably the only car from the 1950s that most anybody can identify half a century later. Sweet smooth and sassy, the ’57 Bel Air.

FRIDAY, MARCH 10, 2006

Cocktail Hour in the Pink Pavilion

Even people with a fancy for the most modern homes have one old-fashioned trait in common with conservative friends: they insist on reliability in things mechanical. Motorola agrees heartily — you’ll see the TV repairman a lot less than your non-Motorola friends will. One reason is Motorola’s exclusive Golden Tube Sentry  . . .

Dancing in the Moonlight

The wonders of Stereo Hi-Fi are so apparent that the initiate is likely to be swept off his feet the first time he hears a test ping-pong game over this modern sound miracle. Audiophiles tell us, however, that our Motorola Stereo Hi-Fi is as superior to the ordinary kind as the cantilever house in the picture is to a seaside cottage  . . .

It has the cozy charm of a parking garage, but we like it anyway. From 1961, two more architectural fantasies from Motorola’s “lively art of electronics” campaign. The artist’s signature, “Bertels.,” might be an abbreviation for Bertelsman.

WEDNESDAY, MARCH 8, 2006

Finer in ’47!

Spring’s smartest styling  . . .  inside and out! Any way you look at it, today’s Ford is by far the smartest car in the low-priced field  . . .  newly styled instrument panel with big new dials  . . .  new body colors  . . .  new front end appearance  . . .  new stainless steel body molding  . . .  new hood medallion  . . .  new heavier bumper guard  . . .

TUESDAY, MARCH 7, 2006

You Ride First Class on Concrete!

Cleveland’s Memorial Shoreway East is designed to keep traffic moving smoothly now — and years from now. A vital link in the non-stop, Seattle-to-Boston Interstate 90, the Shoreway dramatizes how the new 41,000-mile Interstate System will not only simplify cross-country travel, but also make driving easier every day for those who live and work in the city. Interstate pavements must be especially durable  . . .

Starting in 1956 with the passage of the National Interstate and Defense Highways Act, a years-long battle between the forces of Darkness and Light was played out across the pages of Life, Saturday Evening Post and other mass-circulation weeklies. The forces of Darkness — the asphalt lobby — emphasized smoothness, lack of glare and thump-thump-thump as well as low first cost. The forces of Light — the concrete lobby — pitched the durability and skid resistance of cement, and the fact that concrete roads are brighter at night due to their lighter color. That last selling point is something we see played up in this illustration from a 1960 ad for the Portland Cement Association: A night sky over a strangely luminous roadbed and a caption that reads, “Light-colored concrete gives you far better visibility at night than any dark surface. Your headlights do more for you  . . .  the pavement edge is always visible.”

Beautiful Cypress Gardens

From 1968, a snapshot showing your webmaster, his sister and Mom and Dad at Cypress Gardens on a family trip taken to cheer up our grandmother after her husband died. Nice picture, Grandmama.

Putting the Imp in Imperial

A 1952 publicity still for Chrysler’s Imperial. Hello, little man.

SUNDAY, MARCH 5, 2006

Meet the Thunderbird

When the Ford Thunderbird was first exhibited, it created a veritable sensation. No personal car before it ever combined such long, low, exciting lines, such comfortable and attractive interiors with the jet-like responsiveness of Trigger-Torque Power and the road-hugging cornering of Ball-Joint ride. And, quite naturally, thrilling attributes of the Thunderbird are reflected in all Ford cars for 1955  . . .

From the opening pages of the 1955 Ford brochure, Form FD-7524 printed in October 1954, boy with rod meets girls with rod.

FRIDAY, MARCH 3, 2006

On the Air for MEAT

Actor William Bendix of the radio (and later television) show “The Life of Riley” makes an appearance in this 1945 ad for the American Meat Institute,
along with a co-star named Frank.

THURSDAY, MARCH 2, 2006

Bold New Chieftain

Meet the big change in the low-price field — the bold new Pontiac Chieftain. This completely new kind of car is the result of planning as bold as the car itself. First, the engineers went all-out to perfect scores of revolutionary advances to celebrate the Golden Anniversary of Pontiac and General Motors. Second, they determined that Pontiac’s new Chieftain Series would be priced right down with the lowest. The Chieftain is unlike any other car in its class  . . .  even to Air Suspension, Fuel Injection and Tri-Power Carburetion (extra-cost options). Why not be among the first to own this straight-from-tomorrow newcomer to the low-price field?

Pontiac shared its underpinnings with the better-looking Chevrolet in 1958, two designs that lasted for just one year. The result was a rather strange-looking automobile with a rocket motif along the side and jet-tube taillights that would reappear for 1960.

The Slippery Slope

You’ll munch delicious hot fried chicken in just 25 minutes! New improved Swanson TV Brand Frozen Dinner  . . .  with buttered potatoes and mixed vegetables  . . .  all cooked and ready to heat on its individual tray. No work before, no dishes after!

That was in 1956. Fifty years later, here we are.  Or aren’t.

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