Scanning Around With Gene: Summer Wanderlust
I will admit to having a serious case of wanderlust this summer. It’s been quite some time since I’ve travelled anywhere interesting, unless you count a couple of trips to Los Angeles to visit my sister. But going to LA to me is almost like anti-travel, since I grew up there and return only out of obligation. It hardly qualifies as a vacation destination.
The likelihood that I’ll actually get anywhere exotic is minimal, for now, as work obligations make it difficult to take more than a week at a time off, despite a big build up of vacation days. And I hate rushing somewhere for a short period of time – it’s so much more fun to get away for a few weeks and really immerse yourself in the destination. Plus, life distractions seem to suck up all of my free time these days and I’ve fallen victim to the dreaded “staycations” that are so popular (or necessary) in this era of austerity. Today’s images are all travel posters from various sources and date from roughly 1930 to 1952. Click on any image for a larger version.
The art of travel posters is pretty much gone, thanks to the disappearance of travel agencies, airline ticket offices and other places where posters were displayed.
It doesn’t seem that long ago to me that every Main Street had at least one travel agency displaying posters and other promotional material in its shop windows.
Posters were sponsored by airlines, cruise ship lines, railroads and the destinations themselves, and displayed both artwork and photographs, though I’ve chosen to highlight just illustrations today.
I suppose travel still has a slightly romantic quality to it, though in the modern era travel has become so common and the world so small that some of the mystery and exoticism seems to have disappeared.
In the era of these posters, choosing a destination and taking a trip somewhere new was a fairly big undertaking requiring quite a bit of planning in advance.
There was no booking flights or hotel rooms online, and just doing the research about a new location took some serious reading. Travel agents were the primary source of information and recommendations as to where to stay, eat and visit.
Some travel posters were signed by the artist, but most were anonymous. Many designs were serial, using the same style over and over again for different locations.
It’s still very exciting to go somewhere new, even though we get to see everything online first and read detailed reviews. But I do miss the days when a poster might trigger a desire to visit a specific destination – there was more of a sense of adventure back then, for sure.