This original vintage lithograph for Butagaz, a French company selling butane gas in tanks, shows a butane gas tank “going Pinocchio” and becoming human in order to take care of the people in the miniature house he’s holding. As anthropomorphized, he’s a cute little guy with a big, friendly smile and with a strong left arm that can easily support the entire house. He provides his people with natural gas for cooking, bathing, reading and staying warm – i.e. everything they need to make their lives comfortable.
This poster, from the late 1930s, sells the benefits of butane gas in the home but also sends the message that butane gas is safe and effective when used for a wide variety of household purposes, as the use of such gas in the home was fairly new at that time.
You can tell that this poster dates from a pre-World War II era, as shown by the interior scenes of the house and the relatively unsophisticated (by today’s standards) portrayal of the tank figure. Interestingly, his hands and feet resemble the hands and feet of the early Mickey Mouse figures of the same era.
The primary colors used in the poster definitely are eye-catching, especially the bright blue of the tank as set against the bright yellow background.
This poster was created by Swiss artist Rene' Bleuer (1896-1978).
Butagaz adopted a new mascot in the late 1960s – a blue teddy bear named “Bob.” The vintage posters (like this one) of Bob’s unnamed predecessor remain as charming reminders of advertising (and life!) in a bygone era.
This poster will add color and fun and a bit of history to every poster collection and to every room.