What do a cowboy, Popeye the sailor, Miss Clavel and Madeline, a masked man, Napoleon, a nun, a priest, an artist, a clown, two dogs and a skunk have in common? They and others are standing in line at the Paris office of Pan Am, waiting to buy their tickets.
This hilarious poster from the 1950s promotes Pan American Airlines’ expanded service between the US and Paris as well as other European cities. Famous landmarks dot the aerial view of Paris in the background, making it a veritable tourist map of the city.
The lower left corner shows a gendarme talking with a street vendor about the crowd, saying, in mangled French/English: “But every day c’est comme ca. Eet mus’ be a very marvelous airline!” Aimed at US tourists, this conversation includes just enough English to be understood by an American.
The clear message of this poster? Join the crowd! Get your tickets on Pan Am and fly to Paris or another European city for a wonderful vacation.
In a garret studio overlooking the ticket line is an artist at work with his palette and brushes, perhaps intended by William Linzee Prescott, who created this poster, to be a self-portrait. Prescott (1917-1981) was a prominent American painter, muralist and caricaturist.
If you love airline travel posters, you'll be smitten by this one. Colorful and amusing, it will make a fun addition to any room where it is placed.