Thursday, December 3, 2009

#025 Typography from the Past

Over Thanksgiving I had the opportunity to visit the Roanoake Virginia Transportation Museum. Due to its proximity to a vital rail-yard, it featured a lot of locomotives and railway history exhibits. I've loved trains since I was a kid, but during my visit I was struck by the beautiful typography that so many of the rail lines of the early 1900's used in their logos and branding.

Progressive shots showing the lettering on the side of a coach.

One of the most amazing things I saw was this old streetcar.

The exterior reminded me of a VW Microbus, and its paint was old and powdery, like so many other vehicles in the yard. But walking inside, it was like walking into the past.

It looked as though nothing had changed for 35 years. And there were ads, original ads still hanging above the seats. I felt as though I had walked into a sanctuary. So many people had ridden this streetcar. Each one had their own ideas, problems, loves, hates, dreams, hopes. America was going through similar economic hardship just like we are today, and these ads were rallying the people: work together, and together we can make it better. Something truly American. For whatever reason, I was so struck by this streetcar. Even time cannot erase the voice of the people.

1 comment:

Rachel said...

Excellent observations and awesome perspective in your photos.