Summer is easy to sell: sun, sea, sand, and the rest. And Winter needs no help — it’s the holiday season, the New Year, the snow, the skiing. Springtime? Well, there’s Spring Break. But how to get people to travel during the Fall?
It’s not entirely straightforward. Come September, the population is busy squirreling away money in preparation for the costs of the holidays. Everyone is back at work. Nights are getting longer, days are getting colder — just not cold enough to break out the schnapps.
There is Halloween, of course, and Thanksgiving. But neither are really about traveling and vacationing. Sure, everyone goes home for turkey. But that’s no great shakes for the tourism and hotel industries.
Luckily, the Fall has its own quality — a quality that, well, is a little hard to put into words. Fall is made up of more than just pretty leaves (though the creators of these marketing posters were happy to major on those colors).
Perhaps English Victorian (and female) author George Eliot put it best: Delicious autumn! My very soul is wedded to it, and if I were a bird I would fly about the earth seeking the successive autumns.
These posters are chiefly from old England and New England, two locations where the Fall is at its most exquisite. And that certainly has not changed.
c. 1930s: London & North Eastern Railway (LNER) to promote rail travel to Epping Forest in Essex. Artwork by F Gregory Brown
1960: Poster by Rod Ruth, entitled ‘Fall is Vivid’
c. 1950s: Air Mail Parcel Post Poster by Melbourne Brindle
Swim Ink 2/LLC/CORBIS/Corbis/Getty Images
c. 1930s: New York State Travel Poster
K.J. Historical/CORBIS/Corbis/Getty Images
c. 1940s: New Hampshire Poster
David Pollack/Corbis/Getty Images
1925: ‘Kew in Autumn, Tramway Service 26 from Clapham Junction, Wandsworth and Putney’, London County Council (LCC) Tramways poster
Guildhall Library & Art Gallery/Heritage Images/Getty Images
1925: ‘St James’ Park to Westminster or Victoria by Tram’, London County Council (LCC) Tramways poster. Showing an autumnal scene in the park. A bonfire smokes in the foreground while toy boats sail on the lake behind. Designed at the LCC Central School of Arts and Crafts.
Photo by Guildhall Library & Art Gallery/Heritage Images/Getty Images
1934: “Dont Miss Autumn in the Country”, SR poster.
c. 1930s: Enjoy the Countryside with the New London Area Day Return Tickets’; poster produced for British Railways (Southern Region)
c. 1930s: British Tourist and Holidays Board poster. Artwork by Norman Wilkinson.