One of the most famous billboards of one of the most famous trains to ever exist has found a place in the National Museum of Scotland.
The original copy of the famous 1932 LNER painting, ‘Take me by the flying Scotsman’ will be added to the museum’s transport collection as a commemoration of the history of art and advertising according to The Scotsman.
In the world of advertising, especially of large scale advertising, there are many attempts to combine form with function and to use the power of an evocative and artistic poster to showcase and sell yourself. Behind the art deco styling of that Flying Scotsman poster was a provocative satire, which is in part why the poster is so famous.
At the time, Southern Railway, LNER’s main rival in the railway world, positioned itself as a kind, friendly and traditional company, with a particularly saccharine poster with a train driver and a child talking, the child saying to the driver that he was taking an early holiday because the south gets to Summer sooner.
LNER, by contrast, made a highly modernist inspired poster, with the Flying Scotsman looking imposing and colossal and exceptionally modern for the time. The minimal text on the poster was also notable, as was the knowing wink in the bottom corner providing “apologies” to Southern Railway.
The fact this work of advertising made it into a national museum shows the enduring power of print advertising and banner printing.