University of Delaware Library

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TRANSPORTATION

Technological progress seems so clearly defined by these catalogs as, in fifty years, Americans moved from the horse and buggy to the airplane. Of interest is the increasing use of photography for illustration, particularly in the early auto and airplane ads, to give a modern look to the catalogs. Well-known pilots are used as models in some of the photos which, along with statistics about car and airplane races, emphasizes the sports aspect of transportation. Changing images of women in advertising are particularly apparent in this category. Compared to the view of women as model or object in clothing or appliance ads, the bicycle, car, and particularly the airplane catalogs show active, adventurous women.


Million, Guiet et Cie, Carrossiers.
Voitures. Paris: The Company, [ca. 1870]

This beautifully-produced French carriage maker's catalog contains numerous chromolithographed plates of carriages which range from elegantly simple designs to highly complex vehicles.


Geo. L. Brownell.
Hearses and Carriages ...: Urns, Silver and Gold Fringes, Plumes, Coffin Rails ... New Haven, Conn.: Punderson & Crisand, printers, [ca. 1880]

The collection includes many catalogs from the funeral industry. In addition to horse-drawn hearses for both children and adults, the company also manufactured memorial urns.


Powell & Douglas.
Catalogue and Price List for 1884: Hunting, Fishing and Pleasure Boats. Waukegan, Ill.: The Company, 1884.

The eye-catching cover of this catalog is an example of color printing by chromolithography which reached its peak in the 1880s and 1890s. By the turn of the century, printers were turning increasingly to photo-reproductive processes.


E.C. Stearns & Co.
The Yellow Fellow Year Book. Syracuse, N.Y.: The Company, 1896.

The cover design and typography of this catalog were influenced by the magazines of the period, particularly Will Bradley's Chapbook and The Yellow Book, published in London. The book is filled with wonderful illustrations, unfortunately unsigned, of young men and women enjoying their bicycles.


H. A. Lozier & Co.
Shakespeare Would Ride the Bicycle If Alive Today: "The Reasons Why." Cleveland: The Company, 1896.

All of the humorous illustrations in this catalog are taken from Shakespeare's plays and made to refer to bicycles. The drawings were done by Frederick Burr Opper (1857-1937), who was primarily known as a book illustrator and cartoonist.


Ford Motor Company.
Ford: 26 Reasons Why You Should Buy. Detroit, Mich.: The Company, 1911.

The catalog says "Every third car sold in America during 1912 will be a Model T." The 26 reasons to buy, one for every letter of the alphabet, are all done in rhyme.


National Motor Vehicle Co.
Women's Motoring Apparel ... Indianapolis, Ind.: The Company, 1912.

The catalog contains an essay entitled "The Motoring Woman" which describes the importance of women in popularizing the automobile. It goes on to say that "The automobile has been a great factor in advancing the independence of woman. It may be that when universal suffrage happens we can place a goodly part of the credit to the automobile."


Chas. E. Miller.
Largest Automobile Supply House in America: Motor Cars-Motor Boats-Motorcycles-Motor Planes. New York: The Company, 1913-1914.

The cover exemplifies pre-World War I America's fascination with all types of motor-driven transportation.


The Locomobile Company of America.
The Locomobile Book. Bridgeport, Conn.: The Company, 1914

The locomobile was the top of the line in automobiles in 1914. The two-passenger roadster cost $5100; the seven-passenger "Berline" model cost $6500.


Harley-Davidson Motor Co.
Harley-Davidson 1915. Milwaukee, Wis.: The Company, 1915.

The simplicity of design and use of large areas of flat color in this cover, reflect the style of the "Poster Period" of the 1890s and the influence of the Japanese print on American art.


Wright Aeronautical Corporation.
Your Airplane is Ready Sir. Paterson, N. J.: The Company [1927]

The Wright Company catalog included a great deal of information about the production, specifications and use of their airplanes, made for both civilian and military purposes. In describing their newest "whirlwind" engine, the catalog states that Charles Lindberg will use one in his attempt to make the first non-stop flight from New York to Paris.


A. G. Spalding & Bros.
Aviators' Clothing. New York: The Company, [ca. 1930]

The catalog contains pictures and testimonials from several award-winning women pilots, making it of interest to students of women's history.


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