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The Postwar Travel Posters

November 1st, 1999

The New Haven was an extremely passenger oriented railroad and a great proportion of its revenues came from New England vacation travel. An important element of the New Haven's postwar vacation travel marketing campaign was a series of seven travel posters, each about 27 by 42 inches in size, which promoted popular vacation destinations directly served by New Haven Railroad passenger trains. Designed with a somewhat stylized family resemblance by an artist named Ben Nason and executed in bright colors using an airbrush technique, these travel posters were printed (perhaps at first) starting about 1941. Distribution was curtailed during the Second World War, when all non-essential travel was actively discouraged by the railroad. However, the Nason posters were widely distributed to stations, ticket offices, travel agencies, and other interested parties (such as stores) starting in late 1945. The Nason posters remained in service (although perhaps in limited numbers towards the end) up through at least the middle of 1955. All posters from the collection of Marc Frattasio.

BostonBoston is the capital city of Massachusetts and the northern end point of the New Haven Railroad's 'Shoreline Route'. The Boston poster shown here depicted four famous structures which were (and still are) popular tourist attractions for visitors; the Massachusetts State House, the Bunker Hill Monument, the Old State House, and the Old North Church.

The Rhode Island poster was extremely attractive, featuring a stylized beach scene and typical New England village in the background with a seagull placed in the foreground to provide an illusion of depth. The New Haven Railroad's public relations department distributed these posters literally to anyone who asked for them. Brown University in the city of Providence obtained a set of these posters which they used as props during amateur stage productions during the 1940s.Rhode Island

ConnecticutThe New Haven Railroad was a dominating presence throughout the state of Connecticut. Nason's Connecticut poster depicted the stylized path of a river coursing from the ocean into the New England countryside.

Martha's Vineyard is an island located a few miles off the southern coast of Cape Cod. A very popular summer vacation spot, New Haven trains terminated at the town pier in Woods Hole where they could catch the ferry boat to Martha's Vineyard. Martha's Vineyard

The BerkshiresThe New Haven Railroad's 'Berkshire Line' ran through the Berkshire Hills of Connecticut and Massachusetts, a rural area filled with quaint New England villages, country inns, and antique shops. During 1946 a number of large department stores in Southern New England incorporated New Haven Railroad travel posters in window displays which advertised luggage and vacation apparel.

The New Haven Railroad's Cape Cod poster featured a dramatic image of a light house and a waterfront scene with a small village in the background. Notice the clever way artist Nason made the light house lamp on the night time side of the image become the rising summer sun on the day time side of the image.Cape Cod

NantucketThe island of Nantucket is another popular summer vacation spot located off the southern coast of Cape Cod in Massachusetts. New Haven Railroad passengers wishing to go to Nantucket took the train to Woods Hole and boarded a ferry boat, much the same as if they were going to Martha's Vineyard.


October 1999: Modern Dining Car China

September 1999: New Haven Railroad Dining Car Service Pins

August 1999: New Haven Railroad Lapel Pins

July 1999: The 1939 New York World's Fair -- 60th Anniversary

June 1999: On-Train Ashtrays

April 1999: Matchbooks

March 1999: Pilgrim Tours

February 1999: Special Trains of the 1950s and 1960s

January 1999: Ticket Envelopes

December 1998: Holiday Advertising Material

November 1998: New York City Travel Advertising Material

October 1998: Boston Travel Advertising Material

September 1998: The Hurricane of 1938 -- 60th Anniversary

July 1998: The New Haven Goes Back to Cape Cod

June 1998: The 1964/1965 New York World's Fair

May 1998: Official Gifts of the McGinnis Era

April 1998: System Timetables

March 1998: Pre-War Advertising Brochures

February 1998: New Haven Railroad Freight Service Advertising from the 1950s and 1960s

January 1998: The Snow Trains

December 1997: Hotel Montclair Advertisement ca. 1939

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