Tuesday, 27 December 2011

Cigarette Advertising

Here's hoping you've all had a great Christmas and are enjoying your extra day off today.

One of my favourite things to do when I have a little extra time is to look for interesting pictures online, the brilliant Archive.org being a major source of fab book and magazine illustrations and adverts.

I was looking at magazines this afternoon and came across one entitled Coraddi which was an American magazine published by the students of the Women's College of the University of North Carolina back in the 1930s, 40s and 50s.

Whether it's a sign of one of the main interests of college students at that time or that perhaps the magazine was sponsored by a tobacco company, interestingly the only adverts that appear in this magazine are for cigarettes.

As it's the festive season I thought I'd show a couple of the Christmassy adverts:-

It seems rather perverse today that Santa is seen here smoking, doesn't it!

Now I hate smoking, never done it, never even had a puff. I think that's because both my parents smoked heavily and I thought it was pretty disgusting from an early age - but I find ads for cigarettes interesting from a social history point of view. There would be outcry today if Santa were seen to be smoking in any kind of ad or film. Back in those days, there was no proof that smoking was linked to lung cancer and other diseases although various studies seemed to indicate it.

Surprisingly, it wasn't until the early 80s that it was proved definitively that this was the case. Shocking!

My mum started smoking in the 40s because it was glamorised by beautiful, elegant actresses in the Hollywood movies. And as the major pastimes then were dancing and cinema, many teenagers were influenced in this way.

Even the adverts portrayed beautiful women smoking:-

It's perhaps not surprising that so many teenagers took up smoking back then.

Thankfully now we know the truth about the stinky weed and advertising has now been banned, but I do wonder what we advertise today that the people of the future will find politically incorrect!

Friday, 16 December 2011

Remember by Christini Rossetti

When my mum died in 1992, one of her friends gave my step-father a sympathy card that contained a poem by Christina Rossetti. At the time I'd never heard it before and although my step-father couldn't bring himself to read it at the time, I've always been touched by it and have given it in cards to others who have lost someone, just as my mum's friend did.
Christina Rossetti (1830-1894) was a prolific poet and lyricist and is best known for not only this poem but also writing the the Christmas Carol 'In the Bleak Midwinter'.

One of the books that I hanker after (and that would probably be way too expensive for me!) is a Christina Rossetti poetry book that was illustrated by Florence Harrison.

It contains absolutely loads of Art Nouveau style colour illustrations that are just beautiful! Here are some of them:-
When this book comes up on Ebay, it's usually at least £200.00. You never know, Christmas is only next week......

Friday, 2 December 2011

Walter Tittle

Every now and again I come across a new artist that I haven't heard of before and Walter Tittle is one of these. I just love the (art history A-level training coming through here) luminosity of Walter's paintings - his wonderful use of colour and light really brings the pictures to life.
Walter was born in Springfield, Ohio in 1883 and after completing his formal art training, he came to sketch celebrities such as Charlie Chaplin and Mary Pickford, as well as four US Presidents (William Howard Taft, Woodrow Wilson, Calvin Coolidge, and Franklin Delano Roosevelt).

Tittle met with Franklin D. Roosevelt so many times that he published a book in 1948, Roosevelt As An Artist Saw Him, containing the transcripts of his conversations with the 32nd President.

Tittle died in 1966 and although he is little known today, his wonderful illustrations remain.

Wednesday, 16 November 2011

Bog Standard Blog

I came across this old catalogue today from 1895, beautifully illustrated with lots of black and white, and several colour illustrations. I can't imagine how much the artists would have been paid for producing this kind of highly detailed work - probably very little!
I've never seen a toilet look so pretty!

Sunday, 6 November 2011

Social History and Ads

A big welcome to all those who have recently clicked 'like' on the Printable Heaven Facebook page. Now I have a wider audience, it makes writing this blog a little more scary.....

We'll have some more freebies coming up that will be exclusive to the Facebook page so it's worth sticking with it. Nearer Christmas we'll put some little games and puzzles on, one of which especially will confound and baffle you - great to pass around the family on Christmas Day.

This blog is mainly about old pictures, my passion, with a bit of real life thrown in. Hope you like it.

In the last year or so, since discovering that there is a vast wealth of out of copyright pictures out there, I've completely fallen in love with illustration.

Book illustrations have been my main source of inspiration - I love Victorian chromolithographs particularly, but my biggest love is advertising. Anything with words, in fact.

This picture is from a 1930 swimming pool equipment catalogue. I think it's often the fonts as well as the pictures that make me love stuff like this - plus the social history. When you stop and think about how things have developed over the years and how tastes and requirements have changed, it's fascinating.

This picture is from a 1913 seed catalogue - this one would be perfect in a frame in a conservatory or garden room with a few pots of geraniums flowering below it.....

Magazine and book covers, posters, adverts, product packaging and more are wonderful for both history and art, well worth rummaging around book shops, boot sale and flea markets for.

Saturday, 29 October 2011

Is the art of magazine illustration dead?

I love illustration. I think it's a shame that advertising these days, in magazines, posters, brochures and pictures in recipe books, usually features photos and not illustrations.

We went to London for the day yesterday and had a little trot round Spitalfields market amongst other things. I managed to pick up a 1967 Woman and Home magazine for just £1.00. Had a quick flick through before I bought it and only saw ads with photos but I love the social history of stuff like this so bought it anyway.

Remember Anne French cleansing lotion in the triangle bottle, or Vetzymes vitamins for pets? Several ads for blankets with silky edges too, must have been a big thing then. Anyway, I digress.

On having a proper look through the magazine this morning, I was pleased to find that even in 1967 the art of illustrated ads was still alive.

I remember Ladybird adverts like this, beautifully illustrated. And you don't tend to find cookery-type ads that include illustrations rather than photos, do you?

The first one here, the Tick-a-Tee ad, is great. How the English language moves on, eh!

Monday, 24 October 2011

Bunny Rabbit's Diary, George F. Kerr

I like nothing more than finding a new artist or series of books that I've never heard of before. Bunny Rabbit's Diary and its artist, George F. Kerr, is one of those.

George F. Kerr (1869 - 1953) was an American artist who was well known for his children's book illustrations, perhaps most notably for L. Frank Baum's American Fairy Tale. L. Frank Baum, by the way, was the creator of the Oz series of books, that Christmas favourite The Wizard of Oz, of course being the most famous.

These pictures are from a lovely 1915 book entitled Bunny Rabbit's Diary by Mary Francis Blaisdell.

I usually associate pictures in this style with those of a much later date, such is the quality of George Kerr's work.

I'm sure I'll incorporate these into something on PH at some time in the future.

Wednesday, 12 October 2011

Turkey, Warwick Goble & 8p beer

So many people I know have been to Turkey this year I thought I'd have a look round for some pictures. Much to my surprise I found some by Warwick Goble who, regular blog readers will know, I love. And, despite the name, he's no relation (as far as we know anyway!)

I've been to Turkey many years ago, probably around 1988 - when you could buy a meal for 2 (with wine) for around £2.00! Our posh night out in the best restaurant we could find came to around £6.00! I don't think it's as cheap now, unfortunately.

This wasn't the cheapest place I've been, however. I went to Romania in 1990 and we were amazed to find that beer was just 16p a pint. Still laughing about the cost, when the guys had finished theirs, one of the locals told them to take their glasses back to the bar - and they were refunded 8p per glass! 8p a pint! Ice-cream and corn on the cob on the beach were just 2p!

I'm sure it will have gone up considerably since then but it's still a great story to tell.

By the way, these pictures are from a book called Peeps at Many Lands - Turkey from 1911.

Friday, 23 September 2011

Unusual Meats

I said I'd put the meat recipes I found on here so here they are. Especially check out the pork lips and the pork feet in batter.....

I must say that the sweetmeats recipe turned my stomach a little - reminded me of the Silence of the Lambs follow-up film Hannibal....

The images are taken, by the way, from a 1919 recipe book entitled Unusual Meats.