Wednesday, April 13, 2011
I Love Cuts: Planes, Trains, Boats, and Automobiles
Some of my favorite printer’s cuts relate to transportation ― by locomotive, biplane, steamboat, clipper ship, Model T Ford, hot air balloon, or even horse-drawn hearse! Most of these vehicles are dated since printer’s cuts aren’t a 21st century item, but that’s part of their charm. No cuts of supersonic jets, bullet trains, or space shuttles exist as far as I know, but that’s okay. I’m perfectly content to stick with the old stuff!
Letterpress cuts of old cars can be light-hearted and humorous, as the pictures above and below show. It’s a world few people remember first-hand, when the automobile was a novelty, and driving on dirt roads either an adventure or an exercise in frustration. And then there are the logos for old cars you can’t buy anymore ― Auburn, Durant, Packard, Studebaker, and Nash ― all collectible and fun to play with.
I’ve written about train logos before, but didn’t get a chance to show any cuts of the trains themselves. Many of these were given to us by a friend who was a former employee of Con Curran, a St. Louis firm that printed for railroads.
Boats are another area of cuts to explore, and we especially enjoy them since my husband is a steamboat enthusiast. We were fortunate enough to receive a collection of steamboat cuts through our good friend Jimmy Swift who wrote for the Waterways Journal, a St Louis river-based magazine. We met Jimmy volunteering for the former Golden Eagle River Museum (see badge below). Jimmy Swift was a wonderful historian and writer who truly loved the river. In his will he provided a free memorial river cruise for his friends, complete with dinner and old-time banjo music. We printed a memorial piece for that cruise, featuring some of the riverboat cuts Jimmy had given us.
Cuts of planes, trains, boats, and automobiles ― souvenirs of the past, and fascinating mementos to collect. One of our cut drawers below shows a few more kinds of transportation. How many can you spot?