Last Installment of Navtech's Poster Collection
Last Installment of Navtech’s Poster Collection
Sometimes an idea can take on multiple meanings because of a chosen image. This is very true when considering some of the featured posters in the most recent installment of the Navtech Aviation Poster Collection gallery which goes live this month at http://posters.navtech.aero. Navtech has built this site over the past 18 months to showcase the private collection of Robert Snyder of Cambridge Information Group, one of Navtech’s investors. Mr. Snyder has graciously allowed Navtech to make his collection available to the public in the hopes that more and more aviation enthusiasts will enjoy them.
We want to showcase two posters from the Year Unknown Gallery, the last installment to be published. We do not have enough information about these posters to classify their age and so the variety of designs and concepts within this collection is quite amusing. A common thread of ‘delivery’ runs through the collection and we’ve highlighted two posters below. The first represents air mail delivery and the second a more unorthodox delivery. Quite a departure from each other and yet both entertaining…
#138 Aeropostale Air Mail Service
Year of Publication: unknown
Aeropostale is one of the most well known of the early French airlines. Its fame is due, in part, to the author Antoine de Saint Exupery, who wrote several books about his experience as an Aeropostale pilot.
From 1928 to 1933, Aeropostale offered fast and dependable air mail service from France to South America, with tributary routes within Europe, South America and North Africa. The mail would leave from Toulouse, France, fly across the Mediterranean Sea and make its way along the western coast of Africa. When it reached Senegal, the mail was transferred to a ship for the voyage across the South Atlantic to Brazil. It was then put back on a plane for Rio de Janiero, Buenos Aires, and Santiago de Chile. Aeropostale’s service would transport a letter from Paris to Buenos Aires in 8 days, compared to 16 days by the quickest sea mail.
It was very dangerous to fly over much of this transcontinental route. The areas between the landing fields in Africa were inhabited by hostile tribes who would hold a downed pilot for ransom if they didn’t kill him. Since airplanes were not as reliable as they are today, especially when operated over the desert, Aeropostale’s planes were often forced to land in hostile Saharan territory. The trip over the Andes in South America is still a treacherous one, even today.
Another danger faced by Aeropostale pilots was the night. Radar did not exist, weather information was scanty, and forecasting was unreliable. But to compete with other forms of ground transportation, they had to risk flying in the darkness. This Brazilian poster shows a Latecoere 28 going through a searchlight to land in a small mountain hamlet.
La Fine Redemptor
Year of Publication: Unknown
It seems as if a crowd has just gathered to watch the exciting parachute drop of bottles of the alcoholic drink La Fine Redemptor by a good-spirited pilot flying through the poster’s frame. The poster indicates that the “La Fine Redemptor” drop takes place near Douai, a city in northern France, only a few miles from the Belgian border. In the later nineteenth and early twentieth centuries the city was noted for its major military foundries, its medieval architecture, and its cultural and scientific organizations. With access via both railroads and canals, Douai had extensive trade businesses, among which was a significant business in brandy. It was also a major coal region, and the factory in the poster’s background could easily be a reference to that industry, as well as the other manufacturing that brought income to the city.
The crowd of people appears well-to-do. The liquor-laden airplane seems to have interrupted some other event that had drawn such a large group to the countryside. The policeman holds back people at the front while more arrive from outside the frame of the scene. To the left of the poster, a young woman and man race from outside the frame of the poster into the crowd to get a better look. These people presumably were well-acquainted with Douai’s factories, which specialized in foundries producing cannons and other military materiel. The poster artist references the city’s factories—the steam and soot billow from the factory smokestacks in the background. While coal and large scale industry had brought belated prosperity to the Nord region of France, the poster suggests that the product “La Fine Redemptor” would bring a more refined salvation to the drinker’s life. Delivered by the newest of new technologies, the airplane, which compared to the smoking factory chimneys in the background, was a clean and elegant product of the industrial revolution.
At least one other contemporary advertisement for “La Fine Redemptor” also employed airplane imagery. Artwork on a perforated adhesive label (akin to a postage-stamp) shows the beverage being dropped from an airplane, this time one similar to a Wright Flyer, the bottles fall over both Douai’s famous Gothic bell tower and the smoking chimney stacks of its industrialized areas.
Poster to Note:
Grands Magasins Vannier
Year of Publication: Unknown
Air Shows continued to be a popular part of our aviation industry! Discover more works of aviation art at http://posters.navtech.aero.
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