(617) 375-0076
Shop Summer Vibes! Our Summer Poster Show  Click Here

Posters from the 1930s Race Across the Atlantic

A less well known milestone than the moon landing occurred on the same date – July 2090 years ago, when on its maiden voyage, the German superliner SS Bremen arrived in New York Harbor, breaking the record for the fastest westbound crossing of the Atlantic.  The event triggered an intense struggle after a long hiatus between the European powers for supremacy on the Atlantic which was only ended by the outbreak of World War II.

Below is a selection of posters from International Poster Gallery that illustrate the ships that would dominate the news in the era:

1929: Germany’s Bremen breaks the speed record across the Atlantic

vintage poster, ocean liner, Bremen, Europa, Blue Riband

Bernd Steiner, The Next Big Ships are Coming! , 1929

Bremen took the prestigious Blue Riband from the leader of the British fleet, Cunard’s RMS Mauretania, which had held the record for nearly 20 remarkable years. Equally shocking was that the Bremen also broke Mauretania’s record across the Atlantic on its maiden return voyage – a first such achievement – in under 5 days, averaging nearly 28 knots.

This was only part of the news. The Bremen was closely followed by the maiden voyage of a sister ship, the SS Europa. These two sleek greyhounds – as elegant, safe and comfortable as they were fast – signified a shift in the global balance of power and the reemergence of Germany. They were the first two ships fast enough to manage a weekly schedule across the Atlantic. Before them, three ships had been required.

Germany’s new ships spurred a wave of new technology and breakthroughs in safety and comfort. The Bremen’s success spurred an intense new rivalry for dominance of the seas. That these speedy, elegant ships could easily be converted in time of war to troop carriers was not lost on any of the world’s leaders.

1933: Italy’s Rex 

Oceanliner poster of Rex and Conte Di Savoia 1930s

Giovanni Patrone, 6 1/2 days to New York, 1932

 In 1933 Italy’s Rex, the pride of Mussolini, usurped the title of world’s fastest ship from the Bremen, and was quickly joined by its own sister ship, the Conte di Savoia. The advertisement emphasized the Line’s sunny “Southern Route” which avoided the terrible cold of the more frequented northern passage.

The route led the Italians to add innovative design elements that have become standard on cruise ships worldwide. The so-called “Lido features” included outdoor swimming pools and extensive open air decks.

1935: France’s Normandie

Normandie, AM Cassandre, oceanliner, poster 1930s

 A.M. Cassandre, Normandie, 1935

In 1935, France’s Normandie seized the title. The ship itself was a symbol of national honor. From the outset, its mission was to be the largest and fastest ocean liner, and the “ultimate expression of the artistic and scientific genius” of France. Despite a global Depression and fierce competition from Italy, Germany and England, the Normandie succeeded on all counts. It was the first liner to sustain a speed of 30 knots, and on its very first transatlantic voyage captured the Blue Ribbon for the fastest crossing ever — 4 days and a little more than 3 hours.

1936: Great Britain’s Queen Mary

RMS Queen Mary, poster, oceanliner 1930s

A. Roquin, Cunard White Star (RMS Queen Mary & Queen Elizabeth), 1939

A year later Britain finally regained the crown with its much delayed RMS Queen Mary. And on the eve of WWII, it was joined by its own running mate, the RMS Queen Elizabeth, which entered service as a troop carrier. The two ships would survive the war and dominated the Atlantic passenger market until the rise of the airlines spelled their obsolescence.

Shop ocean liner posters

 

“The Eagle has Landed”: Posters of the Space Race

Fifty years ago today the race to the moon culminated with the landing of the Apollo spacecraft and man’s first walk on the moon the following day. Here are a few original  posters from our Space Race archives:

Apple Think Differently Moonwalk

Apple. Think different. 1997

This Apple poster was part of an advertising campaign that commemorated daring dreams that changed the world, from Einstein and Picasso to man’s first walk on the moon in 1969.

Anonymous, Let’s Conquer Space! , 1960

The Soviet Union set off the Space Race in 1957 with the successful launch into orbit of Sputnik, the first artificial earth satellite. The Soviet program took a major leap forward in April of 1961 when Yuri Gagarin became the first human to orbit the earth. This poster, which shows a cosmonaut at the controls of his space capsule in front of a moon-filled window, was designed before his successful mission.

The Soviet’s success also spurred the United States, which had experienced a number of failures in its early space ventures, into action. A month after Gagarin’s success, President Kennedy gave a speech at Rice University that called for the United States to put a man on the moon by the end of the decade.

Sokolov and Leonov, Glory to the Explorers of Space! 1971

This stunningly beautiful poster celebrates the launch of the first space station, Salyut 1, to orbit the earth by the Russians in 1971. It was launched a full two years before the United States’ Skylab and marked a triumph for the Soviet Union after its inability to beat the US to the moon.

The effort continues to bear fruit as a foundation of the international space station program.  The Outer Space Treaty was signed by the US, Soviet Union and Great Britain in 1967 to ensure the peaceful use of space and has now been signed by 109 nations. In the 21st century, a new space race is underway, with several nations taking part, the most ambitious being China and the United States.

CONTACT US

International Poster Gallery
460C Harrison Ave. Suite C20
Boston MA 02118

P (617) 375-0076
info@internationalposter.com

Beautiful, Rare & Meaningful Posters from around the Globe.