Latest Posts from Russell Flinchum

Public Health Campaigns are Nothing New

In 1896, in a bout of reformist zeal, New York City passed anti-spitting laws. As one can see from the image, spitting could convey any number of communicable diseases and was an especial concern in the new subways and on the old sidewalks. The biggest enemy listed here is tuberculosis, or “consumption,” also known at…

An Under-examined category: Clock faces

A friend recently tipped me off to the fact that this clock was on sale (he had purchased the electric version), and I snapped it up. We both made the purchase thinking it was the work of the multi-talented Donald Deskey, due to a newspaper article stating specifically he had been designing clocks in 1933…

The Fashion Plate

This image comes from a reproduction of the 1897 Sears, Roebuck catalog. You still hear the term “fashion plate” tossed around to describe someone who dresses well (and in the current style), but in fact these printed guidelines on “how to dress” date as far back as Ackerman’s Repository of Arts in the first quarter…

Goths Against Fascism by gloomydemons

I encountered this graphic design yesterday while reading the evening news. It is attributed by the original Facebook poster to gloomydemons as creator. When you enter “Goths Against Fascism” under Google Image Search this appears as #1, and looking at other versions on the page, it is easy to see why. The 3/4 silhouette of…

Sophisticated

In the cultural mix (or mix-up) that was Studebaker-Packard, two once-proud auto manufacturers fell into market decline against GM and found themselves in a marriage of convenience between two very different cultures. Studebaker had made wagons and jeeps before moderately-priced vehicles in the 1930s; in the 1940s it had two post-war hits in its 1946…

Egg Whites

Henry Van De Velde, Poster for Tropon, 1892-93: “Tropon est l’Aliment le plus concentre” OK, so here is how intuitive reasoning works to your detriment: What IS “the most concentrated foodstuff?” I thought it must be either honey or oil, thus my confusion with Toorop’s poster for Delftsche Peanut Oil. The people who brought you…