Sunday, August 24, 2008
'Hello, Central.....give me a line!'
Back in the 1920's I can recall my grandparents farm home a few miles south of Fresno. In the evening my grandmother would hold a match to gas lights that hung from the ceiling. Also remember my grandfather yelling into the mouthpiece of a wooden box wall phone, with a crank on the side. And, yep, it was a three party line!
The 1950's and 60's were 'modern times' when I illustrated about two dozen 'Telephone News' mailers which were sent out with monthly bills. Modern times are relative, however! Today's fiber-optic 'information highway', wireless cell phone mania, as well as digital camera and computer combos were unheard of in those days.
BBD&O and Pac Tel were very good clients then, providing both newspaper ads and 'Telephone News' assignments. They had interest and variety....a real plus for me. Pac Tel or BBD&O came up with photos of cable trucks, tractors, hardware, etc., but the figures and compositions were left to the artist.
As I recall, some of the duotones were painted that way, on others the second color was added by the lithographer using the B&W halftone original. At 3 1/2 x 6 inches, I usually worked 'twice up', or roughly 7 x 10 inches. But...enough shop talk....the illustrations are pretty much self explanatory.
* Charlie Allen's Flickr set.