It’s I Love Transit Week and we’re lucky to have Jason Vanderhill, Translinked and Illustrated Vancouver, write a guest blog post for us sharing some of the top transit related images he has found over the years. You can follow him on Twitter at @jmv. We also had the pleasure of having Jason and cohorts on the blog for our Life on Transit series.
I have had an interest in transportation related imagery ever since I can remember.
The classic travel poster is easily a favourite subcategory of mine, and along with many national airways and railroads, the London Transport and New York’s MTA have a proven track record in this realm.
Not simply confined to the poster, transit related imagery can also appear in brochures, flyers, maps, newspaper ads, and magazine covers.
Below are a few of my favourite posts from around the world, featuring two from London, one from Copenhagen, two more from NYC, and one from the CPR here at home.
Collecting our local transit history is also a favourite pastime of mine. One particular challenge I am faced with is correctly attributing the artwork to its creator. It is always rewarding when I can positively identify the artist responsible based on an artistic clue they left behind (preferably a signature!).
One mystery I have not yet solved relates to a very early BCER illustrator who went by the name “Ken“. I have seen this name appear on a number of items from the late 1920s or early 1930s, but I have yet to determine his full name.
Here for example was one ‘lost trolley ad’ that was recovered from underneath the floorboards of an east Vancouver home. You’ve heard of movie posters receiving the same treatment; now you know to look out for trolley ads as well! In the bottom left hand corner of this ad, I could clearly make out the distinctive three letters “Ken”.
This BC Electric map that I recently acquired is a signature success story!
I almost missed the tiny text in the bottom right corner of the lady’s dress in this illustration. I instantly recognized Jack Grundle’s signature from a number of other ads I received from his widow Lia Grundle.
I loved the illustration so much, I scanned and digitally restored/transformed the folded handout into a retro-nostalgic poster for all of you to enjoy!
Another great set of advertising art that I can thankfully attribute is this set of trolley/bus ads by Peter Ewart.
Peter is famous for creating some of the most distinctive travel posters in the CPR’s portfolio, and these ads reveal he was also producing work for the BCER! Special thanks to Peter’s daughter Linda for sending them my way!
Author: Allen Tung