Tuesday, October 14, 2008


For a change, CAWS 16 will stay with a theme...last week's 'taxi boards'. The usual attempt is to vary subjects to avoid the boredom thing as much as possible. Coming from one source and advertising art from one market, not easy!

'Taxi boards' were 2 x 3 foot heavy cardboard weather-proofed posters mounted in a metal frame on the backs of San Francisco Yellow Cabs. Can't recall whether they were displayed in other cities in California, or elsewhere. On the first, the race car winners, I used two neighbors as models. One a stock broker, the other a high school teacher, but good sports both. They were not that different in size! Sport car racing was a popular fad in the 1950's....now racing seems all NASCAR oriented.

Then...the wind streaked convertible couple... good rendering but classic shallow advertising.

I swallowed my pride about content early... going in. Wanted to earn decent money and support a family. I suppose we all compromise in our work lives... but hey, no complaints!

Next, the '20/20 vision' Chevron service station attendant. I don't recall ever receiving that service in the old days!

My contribution....the 'looks' on the couple in the car. He looks a bit skeptical...jealous?...whatever. She looks pleased...even admiring. Too subtle, I'm sure.

Then....the cool hand filling the radiator....and, yes, children....radiators did fill that way back in the 50's!

Finally, the 'busy car gasolines'....and, you guessed....I'm the briefcase commuter!

All of these were reproductions of Chevron billboards...obviously advertising that Chevron and the Yellow Cab Co. thought valuable and profitable. Back in August I remembered a stash of about a dozen of those and other posters too large for a proof drawer. Out of sight between a metal file and studio wall, I hadn't looked at them for years. I propped a few against the back of a patio chair and took shots with my Pentax. Considering their age (about 50 years), original reproduction limits, and my camera distortion, the color fidelity and results are better than I expected.

* See these images at full size in Charlie Allen's Flickr set.


Bruce Hettema said...

More great stuff. Like finding a treasure behind the file cabinet. Keep searching Charlie, who know what else you'll find. Love the blond woman. Thanks for sharing. Bruce Hettema

Anonymous said...

How can there be a "boredom thing" if you display ANY of your works - be it varied or confined to a single theme? At least I will never ever get bored with anything you post here.

You "swallowed your pride about content early" you say. But you would have made a boiling egg look interesting!

Man, you depicted the most attractive and good looking filling station attendand I have seen...looks like that husband with his wife will rather go a long way round that gas station next time...

Also like your way of coloring...nice greys!