Category Archives: Travel

Ramblers – Germany

These photos dates from the 1930s through 1950. All are from Germany.  All I really have to say is that I cannot wait until rambling weather returns!


Filed under Camping and Hiking, Travel, Vintage Photographs

A Boatload of Christmas Cheer

I found this card several years ago in a vintage clothing store and thought it was the best.  It dates from the late 1930s, a time when a shipboard wardrobe was to be carefully planned.  No tank tops and shorts for this crowd, unless they were actually at the pool.


Even as late as the 1960s there were plenty of rules for how to dress/how not to dress for certain occasions.  I’ve got the great bookElegance, by Genevieve Antoine Dariaux (who was the directrice of Nina Ricci),  in which she gives advice on how to be properly dressed for all occasions.  Here’s what she had to say about ocean voyages:

“If you are lucky enough to embark on a long sea voyage, there exists an established set of rules, which it is wise to respect:  Arrive on board in a rather casual ensemble with a tailored hat; never dress for dinner the first and last nights at sea, but deck yourself out in your best evening clothes on the other nights; relax in sports clothes in the morning; appear for lunch in a slightly less informal outfit.  All of which necessitates a mountain of luggage, to the great joy of the few remaining women of unlimited wealth and leisure, who would rather travel by boat than any other way and thus enjoy one of the last orgies of luxury that have survived in our age of interplanetary rockets.”

a rather casual ensemble with a tailored hat

Continue reading

Leave a comment

Filed under Proper Clothing, Travel, Vintage Photographs, Vintage Travel

Your Trip Abroad

This little booklet of hints was published by Air France for its transcontinental customers sometime in the 1950s.  I love stuff like this because its always interesting to see how much things have changed.

“French cuisine aloft…hot, course-by-course French meals are served to you with vintage wines and chanpagne during the flight.  Naturally, there is no charge for food, or liquor served during meals.”

It’s hard to imagine that kind of thing even in First Class these days!

“Your arrival is at Orly Field, and after the Customs regulations have been completed, you will be taken to Paris in Air France’s own limousines.  There is no charge for this service.”

What luxury!  I’ve never flown into Orly, but in most airports its either the bus, the train, or a very expensive cab.

No copy from the booklet for this one, but who can miss the chic woman in a suit descending the stairs.  When was the last time you saw a woman wearing a suit on a long flight?

And one for the “The more things change, the more they stay the same” file:


Posted by KeLLy Ann:

hahaha! that is wonderful. When we were traveling in the 70s, my brother and I were in the kids captain club, and you would get this book to carry with you and while in flight, the stewardess would bring you to meet the pilots and look out the cockpit, then they would sign it.
Good luck with something like that now.
Which is really sad…

Tuesday, April 13th 2010 @ 1:25 PM

Posted by Em:

Super cute! I love these sort of simple linedrawing brochures, etc., understated and elegant but with panache… Thank you for posting it.

Tuesday, April 13th 2010 @ 1:37 PM

Posted by L:

Brilliant. That penultimate one makes me think of the Eiffel Tower hopping around in the background so as to stay in shot wherever needed… (just like Big Ben in a host of movies!)

1 Comment

Filed under Travel, Vintage Travel

A Book and Its Cover

We all know the old saying that you cannot judge a book by its cover, but in this case I’m sure the saying is dead wrong.  I bought this book purely because I fell in love with the cover.  The scan really does not show how sweet it is, with the image being embossed.  Anyway, I do intend to read it, and will give a report back if it turns out to be as wonderful as the cover.  And that is a very tall order.

PS: It was written and published in 1904.

Leave a comment

Filed under Currently Reading, Travel, Vintage Travel

Travel Diary, 1927

I love old journals and diaries, and I look for them at shows and on eBay when I’m motivated.  Usually they are priced out of my range, but I did get this one several years ago.  It was cheap, probably because the covers are in terrible shape, but take a look at the wonderful graphics within!

The book itself was published in 1914 (NOT a good time to be selling diaries for a trip to Europe, which is probably why there was still a supply of them in 1927!) by Kiggins & Tooker.  The diary was kept by Louise Mary Browne, who appears to be about 12 or 13.  She, along with her mother, father, and two brothers sailed on June 25, 1927 on the Carmania.  They arrived in La Harve on July 3, and began a trip across Europe that lasted at least until August 19th.

I say “at least” because that is where the diary abruptly stops, in mid sentence while describing the Tate Gallery.  I can imagine that she was exhausted, having been all over France, Italy, Switzerland, Germany, Holland and England!  And her mother certainly was, trying to keep up with three kids and do all the sightseeing.  It seems like one or another of the brothers was always sick.  It’s truly an amazing read, just to see how much ground they covered, and to learn what was most important to this young girl.  Lunch seems to have played a major role in each day!


Filed under Travel, Vintage Travel

Envy Inducing Website

How I’d love to say that the graphics in this post are mine!  But, no, they belong to collector David Levine, who has posted much of his collection of travel brochures and ads on his website, Graphic Design from the 1920s and 1930s in Travel Ephemera.  It is truly an amazing collection of mainly European brochures, like the one above, a brochure from the Swedish American Line bar on the “Kungsholm,” 1933.

I really liked and appreciated his willingness to let people use his images freely as long as they credit him and link back to the site.  It would have been very easy, and certainly understandable, for him to watermark the images.  Instead, we get an unobstructed view of his graphics.

So if you are prepared to spend a little time exploring a wonderful site with some of the very best travel graphics, then visit David’s site.  Hint, if time is limited, at least check out his nautical section!

Advertisement “8 Crociere d’Estate in Mediterraneo – Atlantico – Mar Nero,” circa 1936.

Travel brochure for Aeroput Yugoslavia, circa 1935.

Travel brochure for Adelboden, Alpines Schwimm- und Sonnenbad, 1932.

All images in this post copyright David Levine.

1 Comment

Filed under Collecting, Travel

The Beach at Monte Carlo, 1932

I wish I were in this picture.  Looks like a great old travel poster, but this is actually the back cover of L’illustration Magazine, May, 1932.

I’ve never understood all those people who take perfect good vintage magazines and rip them apart to sell the ads.  And I really don’t understand the people who buy the ads, especially seeing that for the cost of one or two ads, you can often buy the entire magazine! And I recently saw a page from an old Holiday magazine for sale for $14.99.  It was one page from a four page article on tennis dresses.  I know that because I have that issue of the magazine.  I think I paid $2 for it in an antique store a few years ago.

But seeing that the cover is torn off any way, I’ll probably frame and hang this one.  I can’t quite bring myself to pull out the other ads, however, some of which are really fantastic Art Deco designs.  There is just something about taking an old object in good condition and ripping it apart.

Some of the vintage clothing groups I participate in have had this discussion about whether or not to alter vintage clothing.  Can’t sell that 1970s maxi dress?  No problem, just cut off the bottom, hem it up to a mini.  Or is that early 1960s gown too demure?  Slice it down through the decollete from the neck to the waist.  It’s a common practice, all in the name of selling the item.

Now, what you do with your vintage dresses is your own business, but before you get the scissors out consider this:  Would you rather find an original bias cut gown from the 1930s, or the one that a 1970s hippie girl took, tie-dyed  and cut to knee length?

Would you rather find a great 1950s gown in original condition, or the same gown that a Cyndi Lauper wannabe chopped off in the 1980s?

Would you rather find a fine silk Victorian ballgown in perfect condition, or the same gown that was dragged out of the chest in 1946 to make a Halloween costume?

If you have a great piece of vintage, but it just is not the right lengtht, do what your grandmother would have done: fold the hem up and sew a new hem without cutting it.  That way it can be let back down, even though there may be a faded line.

And for damaged vintage (and Heaven knows there’s plenty of that around!) I say go ahead and be creative, just make sure you aren’t cutting up a garment that would be valuable even though it’s damaged.  You know, something like a Charles James gown or a 1920s couture piece.  This is when it pays to know a little about fashion history, so read before you cut!


Posted by Lucitebox:

I just had a 40s skirt altered. It might be an early 50s skirt. It was way too long on me. I made sure that it was folded and hemmed. It looks better on me at this length and if anyone wants to let it down, that can be done. It’s slim skirt with three horizontal faux pocket type slits at one side of the hip with big button details. I can’t wait to wear it. I would have never worn it at the length it was, though.

Wednesday, March 4th 2009 @ 8:56 PM

Posted by gail:

Today, there is no excuse to take apart a vintage magazine or book. If you want to frame a picture, copy it. You can even enlarge or reduce to fit your space.

Thursday, March 5th 2009 @ 11:53 AM

Posted by Lizzie:

Holly, to me that seems to be the perfect solution. Clothing is meant to be worn, and it’s unrealistic to think that every piece of old clothing can – or should – be saved. But I do think that we need to be mindful of the next wearer in the life of a garment.Your skirt sounds really cute!

Gail, you are absolutely right.

Thursday, March 5th 2009 @ 5:35 PM

Leave a comment

Filed under Collecting, Travel, Viewpoint, Vintage Clothing