Wednesday, May 17, 2006

Automobile Manufacturer Catalogues

"The motor in the 'Courier'; Stromberg carburetor - regular on all Models."

"Palmer-Singer Model XXXIIC; Limousine, 28-30 h.p."

"The American Roadster; Two or three passenger;
Four cylinder, 50 - 60 h.p., $ 3,750."

"Men and women watching the horse race
from their Franklin automobiles"

"Baker electric vehicles; Landaulet; I chassis."
[The final sentence reads:
'In its use there is the widest correct range of service' -
I am so incorporating that into my everyday speech.]

"Maxwell front cover"

These images are from the "Automobiles - Manufactuers Catalogues" section at the NYPL Digital Gallery. All the material is dated 1909.
List by manufacturer.
Direct to thumbnail images.


Lydia said...

I like the one of the "Men and women watching the horse race from their Franklin automobiles"

it's just so... ironic? quaint? telling? human? (Can't quite find the right word.)

peacay said...

'Mocking' was a word that came to my mind on a few occasions going through the catalogues actually Criseyde.

There was an unsubtle juxtaposition of the 'old form of transport' (eg. horses) with the spiffy new type. Another image had a fully-laden donkey walking uphill being passed by one of these new fangled machines.

I guess the horseracing is actually doubly mocking [on one view] - both towards the hooved beasts and also towards the 'lesser folk' who would not be able to afford the newest toy on the block - but maybe I'm reading a bit much into it.

George Goodall said...

The whole genre of catalogues is pretty interesting. It's amazing how the representations differ from both the technical drawings from which the cars were built and from patent drawings. It's pretty cool to see things like shading, scenery, people, context, etc. Baynes and Pughes "Art of the Engineer" also explores catalogue drawings (of locomotives).

peacay said...

Tomas said:

By the 1920's, the automobile and the most luxurious of all, the limousine was asserting its position. The builders of luxury cars were receiving the same recognition as fashion designers in the 1920s with names like LeBaron, Fleetwood, Fisher, Vanden Plas, Judkins, Dietrich, Willoughby, Derham, Locke, and Brunn essential inclusions on the advertising of the new limos models. Everyone knew these vehicles and their makers, were a cut above the rest. Limo hire was not far behind either. Limo hire pioneer JP Carey noticed in 1920s New York, many people would take advantage of a chauffeur driven limousine if it was within their reach. Carey realized that visitors to this ever bustling city wanted to travel in more style than a taxi cab offered and so used the most luxurious and expensive cars on the market at the time, Packards and Cadillacs to launch his multi-million dollar limousine empire still in operation today.

[I deleted Tomas' original comment because if I didn't know better, it was just made to embed a limo hire link. So this is the halfway benefit of the doubt.]

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