A N N O T A T I O N S

PASTELOGRAM is named in honor of the poet Marianne Moore, who was commission- ed by Ford Motor Co. in the 1950s to come up with names for its new mid-priced car. Among her suggestions: “Pastelogram,” “Turco- tinga,” “Silver Sword,” “Resilient Bullet,” “Utopian Turtletop” and the especially cryptic “Mongoose Civique.” Ford declined to use any of these and instead went with “Edsel.” The rest is history.

of requests asking the Curator: “You’re so darn modest, we don’t know much about you. How about posting a picture or some biographical info? And have I told you about the time I was abducted by aliens?” Well, you get the idea. So here’s a little about our history.

The old Patent Office applications in the PatentRoom are a soft- serve lesson in history. New on the menu: Tees.


The early aircraft designs on view at AdventureLounge will take you back, though maybe not all in one piece.

THE ART of Josh Agle. Martinis, girls, guns. Think James Bond meets Jetsons at a tiki bar in Palm Springs.

   L I N K A T O R I U M


FRIDAY, JUNE 30, 2006

In Your Dreams

You’ve driven this new 4-passenger Thunderbird convertible many times — in your dreams. Now it’s really here — and, as you can see, several light-years ahead of anything else on the road. Acceleration? Merely wonderful. Hills? What hills? Curves? You’ll take ’em like a dream! All this, and more, for four fortunate people  . . .

The all-new four-seater 1958 Thunderbird was one of the few bright spots in a dismal sales year for the auto industry in general and Ford in particular. The convertible, which debuted near the end of the model year, was another hit. The 1958-60 “Squarebirds” were the most popular Thunderbirds ever, with almost 200,000 sold.

What’ll You Have?

From 1952, Pabst Blue Ribbon in its heyday, along with its once popular slogan. The brand, which came close to disappearing with the closure of its breweries, is now being produced by Miller and enjoying a slow resurgence in sales.

Thanks to Joan Auclair for sending us a link to this recent article in the New York Times: For many who gathered here on Monday, the day marked the passing of yet one more piece of New Jersey lore, an urban monument for drivers on the Garden State Parkway. It had been the subject of a popular song and even had a role in a recent episode of “The Sopranos.” It was the toast of a town whose bustling industrial past was awash in breweries, from Ballantine and Krueger to Hensler and Feigenspan. It was the 60-foot-tall Pabst beer bottle, which had loomed 185 feet above Newark for 75 years, serving as a guidepost for countless weary drivers. But on Monday, after a lengthy struggle, the rusted bottle — which was actually a 55,000-gallon water tank — came down piece by piece over seven hours. For now it is five enormous pieces of steel and copper plate three-eighths of an inch thick, and its fate is far from settled  . . .

Party Quarts

Another barbecue (and another set of asbestos gloves), in honor of the Fourth of July. We wonder what it looked like a few hours and a few “party quarts” later.



Exciting new kind of car! Plenty of room for six. Plenty of power without hogging gas. And priced with the most popular three! Yes, a new Edsel Ranger is priced almost exactly the same as many models of Plymouth, Chevrolet and Ford! See for yourself. At your Edsel Dealer now. Edsel Division, Ford Motor Company.

It seems like just yesterday that Edsel Rangers were out prowling the neighborhood delivering gifts. But of course it wasn’t. It was last last last last last last last last last last last last last last last last last last last last last last last last last last last last last last last last last last last last last last last last last last last last last last last last Christmas.

My Beautiful Balloon

Savings reach new heights in this 1959 Ford Ranch Wagon  . . .  designed for families living it up on a budget. America’s wagon specialists have designed them new, like a hardtop. Living room comfort  . . .  sofa-size seats for up to nine  . . .  a stratospheric 92 cubic feet of cargo space, push-button easy to load. Want a lift?

A colorful rendering of the 1959 Ford station wagon. Although roly-poly, floaty and only vaguely steerable, it wasn’t lighter than air.


Olds Steps Out

As regulars know, the Plan59 clock stops around 1962, but we’re making an exception this week for the 1963 and ’64 Olds. Did the 98 know how to party? Yes and yes.

MONDAY, JUNE 26, 2006

Drive One Today!

Where the joy of driving meets pride of ownership! Driving’s a rare treat when you slide this beauty into action! For the stunning new ’63 Oldsmobile surrounds you with cushioned, carpeted luxury. Its spirited, responsive V-8 performance is complemented by a comfortable coil-spring ride. Add to that the kind of trend-setting style that makes you proud you chose an Oldsmobile! Drive one today! Let it tell you all you need to know about fine automobiles! And let your Oldsmobile Dealer show you how little it costs to own one!

A full decade before the Energy Crisis, America experienced the little-remembered Punctuation Panic, when Oldsmobile cornered the market on exclamation points, and everyone else had to resort to italics, all-capitals or underlining to express imperatives and urgent thoughts. Olds ’63! With all the panache of a shoebox on wheels!

Wet and Wonderful, 1955

Could it taste so wet and wonderful in anything but glass? And it isn’t only the fresh, clean taste. It’s the way it looks in the frosty bottle that makes it seem twice as good. Nothing else, you know, is quite as satisfactory for protecting the flavor of soft drinks as glass. Ask your dealer for more of your favorite soft drinks in pure, clean glass.

From the mid-1950s, when beer and soda in cans (no-deposit, no-return) were starting to make inroads, comes this advocacy ad from the Glass Container Manufacturers Institute. We like it for the jaunty tilt of the straws, the gay colors, the bottle-cap ice cubes.

FRIDAY, JUNE 23, 2006

The Hand That Holds the Bottle

From 1949, an example of the disembodied-hand-holding-product school of advertising that manages to be both cheery and unsettling at the same time.


Bewitching Beauty   . . .  With a Gift for Thrift!

The enchantment of the evening will linger long beyond this moment. For its magic is in the beauty of the 1963 Oldsmobile. Mile after wonderful mile, you discover anew the ready responsiveness of the Rocket V-8  . . .  the whisper-soft quiet of a coil-spring ride and the penthouse luxury of a gracious interior  . . .

The 1963 Oldsmobile Dynamic 88, out to paint the town (and surrounding countryside) red.

MONDAY, JUNE 19, 2006

Planning to Buy a New Chevrolet, Plymouth or Ford?

Read on! Did you know the 1959 Edsel is priced with these same cars? For example, you can get a new Edsel Ranger for less than you would pay for many Chevy, Plymouth and Ford models. Yet Edsel gives you so much more  . . .

A postcard mailer from the spring of 1959, when Edsel was being touted as the “King-Size Value” alternative to the Low-Priced Three.

Wherever you go  . . .  go first by Long Distance

“I always call ahead. Doesn’t everybody? Really it’s Daddy who calls ahead and asks for reservations. Then we pack up and go.”  No doubt about it — calling ahead for reservations is a good idea. You know where you’re staying and what it will cost. When you go to the Seattle World’s Fair — be sure to see the Bell Telephone Exhibit.

From 1962, another of Pete Hawley’s fabulous babes, Betsy Bell.

SUNDAY, JUNE 18, 2006

It’s Not the End of the World

Hundreds of years from now the Internet archaeologists will be puzzling over this one — the last inhabitants of OLDSMOBILE flee their city during a bombardment by atomic rockets? Or was it an alien invasion? We’ll solve the mystery right now: “Rocketing up — UP — UP — to the greatest heights in Oldsmobile history! It’s Oldsmobile’s 1951 ‘Rocket’ Engine Super ‘88’ — the climax of ten years’ planning and work — truly an all-time great among motor cars!” Oldsmobile, we now know, wasn’t a place, it was a brand of automobile, made by a company called General Motors.

1963 Olds Ninety-Eight

Just five years earlier, the Oldsmobile was a virtual rolling Wurlitzer. By 1963 it was the Seagram Building on wheels. An evocative illustration of the 98 Luxury Sedan.

FRIDAY, JUNE 16, 2006

Bigger, Better, Cheaper

We’ve updated our Prints pages to reflect the integration of our ginormous new printer into the workflow.  Plus we have slashed prices. To the bone. Ow! And are offering a new size range (Very Large format), printed on 36-inch roll stock.


Take Command  . . .  Get the Thrill First Hand!

It’s dashing! It’s dazzling! But don’t think for a minute that flair-fashioned beauty is the whole Dodge story! Along with its luxury-car length and brilliant style, this Dodge packs the greatest thrill of command on the road today  . . .

With the 1955 models and Virgil Exner’s “Forward Look” styling, Dodge began a slow but steady climb from dowdy to debonair.


Prize Package of the Ford Trading Fair

The classic Thunderbird elegance of every 1960 Ford has become the hallmark of success  . . .  the distinctive styling that has made the 1960 Ford America’s best-selling cars. In the Galaxie, you find this classic Thunderbird look beautifully complemented by spacious new interiors built for luxury-living people  . . . new Thunderbird V-8 power for the most spirited performance of the year . . .

Eager to capitalize on the success of its unexpectedly popular Thunderbird, Ford introduced the Galaxie in 1959 as a full-size car with the Thunderbird’s formal roofline. For its second year, the 1960 Galaxie offered a preview of the all-new 1961 T-bird in its front fender.

TUESDAY, JUNE 13, 2006

It’s Fun to Phone!

A 1958 illustration for the Bell System by Pete Hawley, who up until he started working for the phone company was known mainly for his delectable dishes. This image shows his little-girl character who over the next couple of years got even littler (think diapers), finally morphing into Betsy Bell.

MONDAY, JUNE 12, 2006

You Like It, It Likes You

The gist of this 1950 ad for 7up is that it’s a “family drink” even Grandpa and Junior can swig — because, unlike certain other popular pops, there’s no caffeine in it.

Sign of Good Taste

A colorful 1957 illustration for Coca-Cola, signed Monel.

FRIDAY, JUNE 9, 2006

To Grandmother’s House We Go

Architecturally and structurally, the bridges of tomorrow will undergo many changes. Authorities predict bridges will be made of aluminum. As a matter of fact, the world stands on the threshold of many such important advances  . . .

This 1944 illustration of, yes, the Bridge of the Future shows glass-covered walkways (for those hundreds of people crossing the miles-long span on foot) and monorail trains. Not pictured: Pie in sky.


Titans of the Skies

Across the roof-top of the world the champions of international air fleets will race for supremacy of the skies. As great ocean liners contended with each other on the high seas for freight and passenger preference, so will the de luxe air liners of America vie with those of Europe for the traffic of the stratosphere. The compact Hycon “Stratopower” hydraulic pump has many applications in aerial transportation  . . .

The Next Train

In the sunrise of post-war Railroad Transportation — Sleek luxury trains, gleaming with the beauty of stainless steel, fashioned in designs expressing the civilization of the peacetime world  . . .  they are coming, over the horizon! Ready for use in their fabrication will be Superior Stainless Strip Steel  . . .  long coils of permanently bright, solidly enduring, exceedingly strong metal, rolled to exact size  . . .

Two competing views of future transportation from 1944, when almost all industrial production was going to the war effort and advertising was heavy on visions of Your Postwar World.



Mechanized warfare has had a tremendous effect on the development of internal combustion engines. The lessons now being learned will appear in concrete form in motor car engines in the after-the-war era  . . .

From late 1944, a futuristic vision of what seems to be a horizontally opposed 10-cylinder engine, or maybe a Buick from another dimension.


Somewhere in the West

Somewhere in the waste lands of the West rises one of the world’s largest plants for making magnesium — the silvery white metal whose lightness and strength give faster wings to America’s planes. A combination of magnesium chloride and hydrochloric acid, from which the magnesium is extracted, is contained in forty giant tanks, built of heavy gauge steel. But were it not for the Tygon overcoats these tanks wear, inside, they would quickly be destroyed by the highly corrosive solution  . . .

Cut to Axis Size

Skilled Van Dorn seamstress, with scissors of oxyacetylene, cloth of bullet-proof steel, and pattern shaped to our enemy’s downfall! This is the armor plate which we’ve been fashioning for airplanes, tanks and guns since 1939  . . .

Two World War II era images from 1943, on the 62nd anniversary of the Allied landing at Normandy, also known as D-Day.

MONDAY, JUNE 5, 2006

Trucks to Come

The engineers of the Bohn organization have made extensive studies in light alloys that will be of great importance in the development of tomorrow’s new designs. Among other things, new types of highly efficient motor trucks will come forth  . . .

A wonderful illustration from 1942 signed by George Walker, who went on to become head of styling at Ford Motor Company. This truck of the future has MERCURY spelled out in chrome on its nose, and Trans America along the side. It reminds us more than a little of the 1950s Hoover vacuum cleaner design. Which is a good thing.

Cars, Too

Lighter materials — greater strength — improved economy — new beauty — will be advantages of the car of tomorrow. When peace comes, remember the name Bohn  . . .

This one, also from 1942, looks to be Walker’s work but is unsigned.



I, II, III, IV and V. And we’ve added a fifth page of thumbnails to the section.

FRIDAY, JUNE 2, 2006

Cruise-O-Matic Ford

Long highway haul? It was never so easy! City traffic? Never before so effortless! An especially steep hill? A car to pass? Cruise-O-Matic Drive glides into whichever gear is best for any driving situation, briskly  . . .  automatically! And a fluid torque converter keeps these automatic shifts a smooth, silent secret.

Thurston and Lovey, the prequel: The 1958 Ford Fairlane 500 Town Victoria, shown on Worth Avenue in Palm Beach.

And That’s Not All

One, two, three, four, five more offerings, most from the World War II era.

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