After a hiatus for the summer, during which time the Picture Collection crew was very busy adding new content and new subjects, the blog returns to highlight one of the said new subjects: Advertising – Corporate Identity, Industry, & Utility. This subdivision of Advertising has the further chronological divisions of Pre-1950, 1950-1959, and Post-1950. These are advertisements that do not feature consumer products. Rather, like the descriptive subject heading tells you, they feature 1 of 3 things: 1) Corporate Identity advertisements, which mostly feature large corporations trying to cast themselves and their name in a positive, greater-good, type of light, 2) Industry advertisements, which are instances of one corporation or business trying to sell their techniques, expertise, equipment, buildings, and materials to other businesses and corporations, and 3) Utility advertisements, such as Water Works, The Electric Company, and the Pennsylvania, B&O, Reading, and Short Line Railroads. We have hundreds of these advertisements, most of which we added this summer, and most of which are from 1950 ear Fortune Magazines (hence our chronological subdivision featuring the 1950’s and everything else).
As I examined these advertisements, I noticed one, odd, and I must say, disturbing trend: Giant Hands. Giant Hands with jet airplanes escaping their grasp like an insect, giant hands lifting up buildings, giant hands revealing a factory under a giant basket. Modern man, whilst fashioning better living through chemistry and science, had also become literal Titans, moving factories and cities with their giant, vascular hands. Sometimes we get the whole body, but often it’s just the heavenly hands swooping in and arranging our reality. Following is a sampling.
“The People of Union Carbide created the jet-piercing flame processes” and their advertising agency created this monstrous, pork-sausage fingered, witch-green poisonous gas emitting hand violating the earth.
Delco Radio, “With productive manpower bigger and better than ever before…”
Scientific torture tests as surrealists’ wet dreams…
More dumb strength from BLH.
And finally, the mastermind behind it all, Dr. Manhattan’s red brother, Dr. Jersey City.