Airborne Awesomosity

Air & Space Archives: Two If By Sea

In our continuing look at the Air & Space Museum’s Fly Now! poster collection, I present to you some more fine flying boat and floatplane posters from the early days of air travel. Once, the seaplane was seen as the natural way for air travel to work. People were already used to traveling to seaports, and little infrastructure had to be built to support them. The planes just needed a nice calm stretch of water. Once the modern airliners like the DC-2 came into existence, and opened up air travel across the country, the passenger seaplane began its slow decline. No longer did people have to take a long train ride to get to the seaport/airport, the land based airport could be right in their hometown. These posters date from the good old days, so let’s take a look!

Quite possibly the largest publicly-held collection of its kind in the United States, the National Air and Space Museum’s posters focus primarily on advertising for aviation-related products and activities. Among other areas, the collection includes 19th-century ballooning exhibition posters, early 20th-century airplane exhibition and meet posters, and twentieth-century airline advertisements.

The posters in the collection represent printing technologies that include original lithography, silkscreen, photolithography, and computer-generated imagery. The collection is significant both for its aesthetic value and because it is a unique representation of the cultural, commercial and military history of aviation. The collection represents an intense interest in flight, both public and private, during a significant period of its technological and social development.

Images all from Fly Now!, cropped and lightly tweaked by yours truly.

  • CaptianNemo2001

    They sure know what they are doing in the yellow Alger's Air France poster… Now if only the rest of the French Military could be so astute.

    In all seriousness the early Air French guys were on the verge of insane in the way they established many, many, dirt strips in remote places along the coast of Africa and then established a Africa-South America link early on in the race to create a airline network of airports.