By Lorna Frost
(Shire, Paperback, 9780747810841, 64pp.)
Publication Date: March 20, 2012
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Railway posters have a huge appeal to the modern audience, but just what is it that appeals to us? Enduring images of iconic locomotives, bathing beauties and characters such as Sunny South Sam are testament to the persuasive power of the railway company marketing departments established in the late nineteenth century. Railway posters not only tell us about railway history and technology, architectural and engineering accomplishments, but they also give us insights into the cultural and social significance of the railways. The influence of the railway industry on our cities and coastlines and the development of leisure time and holiday resorts can be seen in the recurring images of ramblers, bathers and idyllic tourist destinations. This book explores the changing styles and functions of the railway poster from the early pre-grouping days through to the inter-war 'golden age', World War Two and the nationalised British Railways.
Lorna Frost is Assistant Curator, Image Collections at the National Railway Museum.