While standing around the Boeing facility in an office park in this Seattle suburb, waiting with other reporters to be ushered in for the, a group of 12 stunning aviation posters caught my eye.
Under glass and in the glare of understated spotlights, the posters were in perfect condition, and they invoked a sense of the wonder of airplane travel that folks in the '30s and '40s must have experienced. That's partly because they captured images of a luxurious style of air travel that probably doesn't exist anymore--of course, I don't travel first class, so what would I know?
In one image, a Pan American Airways poster titled "Havana," a well-dressed gentleman lounges in a seat that looks as spacious as the back seat of a luxury sedan, looking out the window at what is, presumably, the Cuban capital. The picture is beyond words.
Another captivating poster, done in an art deco style, shows a seaplane in front of one of the towers of the Golden Gate Bridge. Since I live in San Francisco, and the bridge has always been my very favorite thing in the world, I was left a little speechless.
Other posters extolled the virtues of flying to New York, Peru, Africa and other faraway locations.
To my untrained eyes, I figured these posters were original, vintage works, lovingly maintained by a company that would have every reason to do so.
Alas, I was later informed by Boeing that they were all either reproductions or modern works done in a vintage style.
Still, the posters are beautiful, and they were wonderfully presented in exactly the place where you would expect to see them: the lobby of one of the world's most important aviation companies. So I thought I would share them with the world. Those of you frequent flyers who never knew the romance of aviation, rejoice!