Vintage Airline Travel Poster / TWA - Florida

20 Beautiful Vintage Airline Travel Posters

In addition to their primary purpose in drumming up business for their company, airline travel posters of course wanted to get you in the mood to visit places all over the world. And without the benefit of a TV commercial, travel posters had to work overtime to help you paint a picture of exotic locales in your mind. Here are 20 such vintage travel posters that did their job exceptionally well, most dating from the 1950s and ’60s.

And if I may be allowed a shameless plug — which I am — I should tell you that some of these images are available as beautiful custom apparel and other products on my Zazzle shop. Why not go there now? Just click on The Hangar for all airline-related goods.

Vintage Airline Travel Poster / TWA - Switzerland

TWA – Switzerland

Vintage Airline Travel Poster / TWA - Florida

TWA – Florida

Vintage Airline Travel Poster / Pan Am - Japan

Pan Am – Japan

Vintage Airline Travel Poster / Western Airlines - New York

Western Airlines – New York

Vintage Airline Travel Poster / BOAC - Africa

BOAC – Africa

Vintage Airline Travel Poster / Pacific Western Airlines - Canada

Pacific Western Airlines – Canada

Vintage Airline Travel Poster / Capital Airlines - Nassau, Bahamas

Capital Airlines – Nassau, Bahamas

Vintage Airline Travel Poster / American Airlines - Arizona

American Airlines – Arizona

Vintage Airline Travel Poster / Western Airlines - Las Vegas

Western Airlines – Las Vegas

Vintage Airline Travel Poster / American Airlines - San Francisco

American Airlines – San Francisco

Vintage Airline Travel Poster / Qantas - India

Qantas – India

Vintage Airline Travel Poster / American Airlines - Detroit

American Airlines – Detroit

Vintage Airline Travel Poster / American Airlines - Mexico

American Airlines – Mexico

Vintage Airline Travel Poster / Northwest Orient Airlines - Alaska

Northwest Orient Airlines – Alaska

Vintage Airline Travel Poster / United Airlines - Seattle

United Airlines – Seattle

Vintage Airline Travel Poster / TWA - Portugal

TWA – Portugal

Vintage Airline Travel Poster / United Airlines - Southern California

United Airlines – Southern California

Vintage Airline Travel Poster / Continental Airlines - New York

Continental Airlines – New York

Vintage Airline Travel Poster / TWA - Las Vegas

TWA – Las Vegas

Vintage Airline Travel Poster / TWA - Egypt

TWA – Egypt

Ice Bowl - Packers v. Cowboys

The Name Games: Five All-Time Classic NFL Contests You Know by Name

NFL history is replete with games that have become so famous (or infamous) and so ingrained into the public consciousness that all you have to do is utter a word or a phrase to a fan and there’s an instant recall.  As much as any of the legends that have actually suited up for the NFL, these games are an essential part of this history and fabric of professional football in America.  Let’s take a look at just five of the most well-known.

The Ice Bowl – Cowboys vs. Packers, December 31, 1967

The Ice Bowl – Cowboys vs. Packers, December 31, 1967When you hear someone like Chris Berman talk about “the frozen tundra of Lambeau Field,” you can credit this game as the inspiration.  On the last day of the 1967 season, the Green Bay Packers and Dallas Cowboys met in a rematch of the previous year’s NFL Championship.  The official game-time temperature was a balmy −15°F / −25°C, with a wind chill around −48°F / −44°C.  To this day it’s still the coldest game ever in terms of actual air temperature.  To put this into perspective, consider that the average February low temperature for Nome, Alaska is −2.3°F / -19.06°C.  Brrr.

This would be nothing  more than a trivia question, however, if not for the game itself.  The Packers jumped out to a 14-0 lead after a pair of Bart Starr to Boyd Dowler TD passes, but a pair of costly miscues led to 10 Dallas points.  The Cowboys took the lead on the first play of the fourth quarter, when Dan Reeves halfback option went for 50 yards to Lance Rentzel.  That seemingly iced (ha ha) the win for Dallas, until Starr marched his team nearly 70 yards downfield with less than five minutes to play.  With 16 seconds to play and his team on the Dallas 1-yard-line Starr followed the blocking of guard Jerry Kramer to paydirt, giving the Packers their third consecutive NFL title.

The Miracle at the Meadowlands – Eagles vs. Giants, November 19, 1978

The Miracle at the Meadowlands – Eagles vs. Giants, November 19, 1978From the sublime to the sad.  In week 12 of the 1978 campaign the New York Giants hosted the NFC East rival Philadelphia Eagles at the Meadowlands.  New York came into the game with a three-game losing streak and a sub-.500 record, while the Eagles had won two in a row to climb to 6-5 and third place behind Dallas and Washington.  They had also not lost to the Giants since the opening game of the 1975 season.

Despite being favored, the Eagles fell behind 14-0 after Giants quarterback Joe Pisarcik threw a pair of touchdowns.  Down 17-6 to start the final period, Philly fullback Mike Hogan ran for a one-yard score to make the score 17-12 (the PAT failed).  But after Eagles QB Ron Jaworski threw his third interception of the game, New York seemed to have things all sewn up (CBS even started rolling their closing credits).  They simply had to kill 31 seconds on a 3rd-and-2 from their own 29.  The smart play would’ve been for Pisarcik to take a knee and run the clock.  They did not choose the smart play.

For some baffling reason offensive coordinator Bob Gibson called a running play.  Pisarcik attempted to hand the ball off to Larry Csonka, but never really had a firm grip.  He lost the ball and it was picked up by Eagles defensive back (and future mediocre coach) Herman Edwards, who sprinted for a touchdown.

For a fan base used to disappointment – the Giants had logged two winning seasons since 1963 – The Fumble (as it was known locally) was simply one more punch to the groin.  For Gibson, it spelled the end of his career.  He was fired the next day and never worked in football again.  The team, meanwhile, lost three of their last four to finish 6-10, good for last place.  Head coach John McVay’s contract expired after 1978 and was not renewed.  He never coached again, although he did find a front office job with the 49ers.  Pisarcik was released after the 1979 season and he finished his career with the Eagles.  Csonka’s contract expired and he opted to return to the Miami Dolphins for his final year.

The Catch – Cowboys vs. 49ers, January 10, 1982

The Catch – Cowboys vs. 49ers, January 10, 1982Man, I never get tired of watching Dallas lose.  And this was more than just any Cowboys loss.  This was a very real passing of the torch for NFC dominance.  The Cowboys, who pretty much owned the NFC in the ’70s (along with the Minnesota Vikings) and were playing in a second-straight conference championship game, squared off against a San Francisco squad that was improving rapidly under third-year head coach Bill Walsh and second-year starting QB Joe Montana.

The two teams traded the lead six times heading into the final five minutes.  The 49ers, down 27-21, took the ball on their own 11 and marched down the field largely on the strength of Montana’s arm and Lenvil Elliott’s legs.  They drove all the way to the Dallas 6 with just 51 seconds to play and facing a 3rd-and-3.  Walsh sent Montana in with a play known as “Sprint Right Option,” which called for Montana to roll right and locate his primary receiver, Freddie Solomon.  The two had already connected for a first-quarter TD using this play, but this time it nearly fell apart.  Solomon slipped coming off the line and Montana was harassed by Dallas defenders Ed “Too Tall” Jones and D.D. Lewis.  Montana heaved a pass that for all appearances looked like it was going to sail past the end zone.  But tight end Dwight Clark, the second option on the play, leaped up about 12 feet (or so it seemed) and snagged the pass for a touchdown.  That tied the game at 27 until Ray Wersching nailed the most important PAT in team history.

With that catch, the 49ers advanced to their first Super Bowl.  They beat the Cincinnati Bengals for the first of four NFL titles in the ’80s.  The dejected Cowboys made it back to the NFC title game during the strike-shortened 1982 season but lost to the hated Washington Redskins.  They didn’t win another playoff game for the remainder of the 1980s.

The Greatest Game Ever Played – Colts vs. Giants, December 28, 1958

The Greatest Game Ever Played – Colts vs. Giants, December 28, 1958Remember the days the NFL didn’t finish their season right before baseball started?  Me neither.

This game hearkens back to the days before playoffs as we know them.  The 9-3 Baltimore Colts rolled into Yankee Stadium as winners of the Western Division.  The 9-3 New York Giants won the Eastern Division after defeating Cleveland in a tie-breaking playoff, 10-0.  Although the Colts dominated the Giants statistically, they squandered a 14-3 lead and actually fell behind, 17-14, in the fourth period.

A 20-yard Steve Myhra field goal evened the score at 17 with seven seconds to play, and that’s how the fourth quarter ended.  Seeing as it would be pretty crappy to end a championship game with a tie (this isn’t soccer after all), the stage was set for the first sudden-death overtime game in NFL playoff history.  Most of the players hadn’t even heard of overtime, so new was the concept.

The Giants won the coin toss but failed to do anything with the ball.  Baltimore – led by the legendary John Unitas – took the ball on their own 20 for the ensuing drive and bullied an exhausted Giants defense down the field for 13 plays.  With an estimated TV audience of 45 million glued to their sets, the Colts won the game when fullback Alan Ameche plunged one yard for a touchdown.

Most fans and historians point to this game as the catalyst for the NFL’s popularity explosion in the 1960s. America’s growing appetite for football led to the creation of an entirely new league – the American Football League – in 1960.

The Colts and Giants met again for the 1959 championship, and Baltimore took their second-straight NFL title.  After a few seasons of struggle the Colts fired head coach Weeb Ewbank and replaced him with Don Shula.  They did OK for themselves throughout the ’60s.  The Giants went on to appear in and lose three more NFL championships in the ensuing four seasons.  They fell off a cliff in 1964 and didn’t make the postseason again until 1981.  Oh by the way, here’s some fun trivia.  The offensive and defensive coordinators for New York’s ’58 squad?  Vince Lombardi and Tom Landry.

The Snowplow Game – Dolphins vs. Patriots, December 12, 1982

The Snowplow Game – Dolphins vs. Patriots, December 12, 1982The odd, strike-shortened 1982 season got even odder.  Don Shula brought his 4-1 Dolphins into New England’s Schaefer Stadium for an AFC East showdown with Ron Meyer’s 2-3 Patriots.  A major snowstorm all but guaranteed a low-scoring affair, which this game certainly was.  With nine inches of snow on an already frozen artificial playing surface, the game was scoreless through the first 55 minutes.  That’s when New England found itself in field goal position on the Miami 16, and that’s when Mark Henderson became a Patriots hero.

Henderson, a convicted burglar on a work-release program, was part of the stadium’s maintenance crew.  His task was to keep the sidelines and yard markers clear of snow, a fruitless effort on that day.  Meyer, whose team had already missed one field goal due to the horrendous conditions, found Henderson and ordered him onto the field with his tractor.  Backup QB and holder Matt Cavanaugh led Henderson to the spot where he would take the snap and Henderson obliged by clearing a swath.  Placekicker John Smith nailed a 33-yard field goal and New England won the game.

Shula was furious, but there was nothing he could do about it.  The NFL banned the use of snowplows prior to kicks for the next season. The “plow” itself, was actually a John Deere tractor with sweeping broom attached.  The broom was mothballed when the Foxboro field was converted to natural grass.  During the Patriots’ final regular-season home game in Schaefer/Foxboro, Henderson saddled up once more and rode the tractor and broom onto the field to the cheers of fans.  Their opponent?  The Dolphins.

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OK God, lemme have it! (‘it’ being a natural gas pipeline)

I try to keep things light around here, and therefore relatively free of politics.  But this is simply too rich to pass up.  It’s a video of vice presidential candidate and current Governor of Alaska, Sarah Palin, delivering a speech to the Wasilla Assembly of God (her one-time church).

According to the video uploader, the speech was delivered about three months ago, so it’s not a long-lost nugget from Palin’s past like the video of her as a young sportscaster or the pictures of her as an aspiring beauty queen.  And that means it’s fair game.

I’m not going to get into the strictly spiritual aspects of this clip, as I try to maintain a healthy level of respect for the religious beliefs of others.  But a few things stood out as rather disturbing – see if you can guess what they are!

In case you missed them, I’ll give you a few hints.

  1. She wants you to praying to God for a natural gas pipeline. Excuse me?  “Um, hey, God?  If you’re not too busy, could you also fill my bank account and erase every episode of According to Jim from existence?  Thanks!”
  2. The Iraq War is part of God’s plan. I understand that Gov. Palin probably has a deep emotional investment in the Iraq War, especially given that her son is deployed there.  But to call the clusterfuck that’s unfolded there over the last several years part of God’s plan is offensive on many levels.

Oh boy, it’s going to be an interesting next few months.

This Week in History! (March 24-30)

March 24, 1989: The Exxon tanker Valdez accidentally hits the state of Alaska, spilling about 11 million gallons of oil. Capt. Joseph Hazlewood was later convicted of negligent discharge of oil and failing to leave a note at the scene of an accident. What’s scary is that it’s not even one of the 50 worst oil spills of all-time.

March 27, 1884: The first long-distance telephone call takes place, between New York and Boston. Contrary to urban legend, the content of the call was not “Red Sox suck!”

March 27, 1998: The Food and Drug Administration approves the use of Viagra; sales of used Corvettes and Mustangs drop 78%.

March 28, 1930: Constantinople changes its name to Istanbul; provides fodder for quirky rock bands of the future.

March 28, 1979: An accident at the Three Mile Island nuclear generating station kills no one, spooks many; America says “F that!” to nuclear power and decides to take its chances with coal and oil.

March 30, 1867: U.S. Secretary of State William Seward completes the purchase of the Alaskan Territory from the Russian Empire for $7.2 million. Enraged Congressmen petition the Russians to give Seward a negative feedback rating.

March 30, 1964: The popular quiz show Jeopardy! debuts on NBC. Cries of “I could totally win this if I wanted to” heard throughout the nation for the first time.

March 30, 1981: Would-be assassin John Hinckley, Jr. fires six shots at President Ronald Reagan, doesn’t land one (Reagan was hit by a bullet that had ricocheted off his limousine). Jodie Foster still won’t return his calls.

Interesting stuff I now know thanks to Wikipedia (Vol. 1)

  • Sherlock Holmes has an older brother, and his name is Mycroft.
  • At 727 feet, the Renaissance Center is the tallest building in Michigan (the Empire State Building, by comparison, is 1,250 feet).
  • Geraldine Doyle is the model for the iconic WWII “We Can Do It!” poster, but didn’t even know it until 1984.
  • Gargoyle originates from the French word gargouille, originally “throat” or “gullet”.
  • California currently has 53 congressional districts in the US House of Representatives, the most in the country. Alaska, Delaware, Montana, North Dakota, South Dakota, Vermont, and Wyoming each have one. Washington D.C. has one non-voting delegation.
  • The Persian word for snow is rendered in English as barf, and is a product line of soaps in Iran.
U.S. license plate mosaic

Countdown: 10 Most Attractive U.S. License Plates

U.S. license plate mosaic

This countdown first ran in 2007, and is now updated through the end of 2012. While a few plates have changed since ’07, only one was drastic enough to merit a change in the rankings — Kansas lost the #7 spot to Nebraska.

License plates are one of the most effective ways for a state to advertise itself to the world. And since a license plate design is usually much more long-lasting than an ad campaign, the choice of design is very important. This is a topic that weighed heavily on my mind as I drove home from Cape Cod last weekend, believe it or not. So in an effort to be as scientific (anal) as possible, I rated all 50 U.S. plates based on the following criteria:

  • Typeface — Fonts used, as well as their arrangement, are considered.
  • Text — Includes mottoes, slogans, or any other information. Points are deducted for any use of county names or websites.
  • Color scheme
  • Logo/illustration — The use of any pictures or illustrations is graded.
  • Overall appeal — Taken as a whole, how does it look?

Each plate was given a total point value based on each category (10 points max), and then an average was calculated. Next to each entry you’ll see the individual scores and an average. The category scores are listed in order, so a score of 5/7/4/8/6 is read as 5 for typeface, 7 for text, 4 for color scheme, etc. As an additional note, only base plates were graded. Special-issue plates, no matter how nice, were not considered. So now that all the egghead stuff is out of the way, let’s judge!

(banner photo by Josh Kellogg — Flickr)

Honorable Mention — U.S. Virgin Islands (7/5/8/8/9, Avg. Score 7.4)

U.S. Virgin Islands license plate

Although the Virgin Islands are obviously not a U.S. state (duh), I had to include this plate. The typeface, which would look silly on any state tag, is perfect here, and I love the fish illustrations. Overall, a very attractive issue that ranks with the best of the continental U.S.

#10 — Oklahoma (6/6/5/7/7, Avg. Score 6.2)

Oklahoma U.S. license plate

Oklahoma’s long-running white plate with green numbers motif received a major overhaul in 2009, when this design debuted. The new plate features a red, white, and blue color scheme and a picture of Allan Houser’s “Sacred Rain Arrow” sculpture. Very strong.

#8 (tie) — North Carolina (6/6/6/7/7) & Vermont (6/5/9/5/7) (Avg. Score 6.4)

North Carolina U.S. license plate

Vermont U.S. license plate

Two very different designs tie for eighth place. North Carolina’s plate features a simple but effective silhouette featuring the Wright Brothers’ famous plane, along with the state name represented with a funky font choice. Vermont’s plate scores on the strength of its simple but appealing white-on-green color scheme. The tree in the upper left corner is too small to have much impact, though.

#7 — Nebraska (6/5/6.5/7/8, Avg. Score 6.5)

Nebraska U.S. license plate

This spot was occupied by Kansas when I first ran it, but their 2008 update — replacing the Topeka capitol building with a portion of the Kansas state seal — was a huge downgrade. I was going to replace it with Mississippi, but their excellent lighthouse design was very recently changed for the worse as well. So the new #7 is Kansas’ neighbor to the north — Nebraska.

The previous Nebraska plate issue featured a hideous typeface right out of the Cornhuskers football program, but this new design is much more dignified and appealing. Not even the clumsy inclusion of the state website URL is enough to weigh down an otherwise excellent look featuring the state bird (Western Meadowlark) and flower (goldenrod).

#5 (tie) — Arizona (7/5/7/7/7) & New Mexico (6/5/8/6/8) (Avg. Score 6.6)

Arizona U.S. license plate

New Mexico U.S. license plate

A pair of southwest neighbors kick off the Top 5. I really dug the previous Arizona entry (the stark red and white one) but the new one has its charm as well. The clean font and desert scene are very nice. When I originally published this list New Mexico’s plate was a red and yellow color scheme with a hot air balloon. I gave it points for boldness, if not for design. This latest design, which celebrates the state’s centennial, is a legitimately strong design.

#3 — Rhode Island (7/5/7/7/8) (Avg. Score 6.8)

Rhode Island U.S. license plate

This was originally a tie between Rhode Island and New York, but the latter dropped out thanks to their 2009 redesign. Rhode Island’s plate, which debuted in late 1996, replaced a rather uninspired design. The current one retains the anchor design element, and adds a very nice stylized ocean wave. The muted color scheme is very good, and the font is strong.

#2 — Alaska (7/5/10/5/10, Avg. Score 7.4)

Alaska U.S. license plate

This is not a plate most of us in the Lower 48 see very often, which is a shame. The basic design elements on this one have been in place since 1971, with some variations and interruptions. Other than the “Alaska” font, this plate is decidedly old school, which I love. The color scheme and overall appearance get the only top marks of any plate. The blue-on-yellow scheme is striking. The only thing keeping this entry from the top spot is the uninspired inclusion of the state flag and nickname.

#1 — Colorado (9/n.a./8/8/9, Avg. Score 8.5)

Colorado license plate

Just as with the Vermont plate, Colorado’s green & white color scheme is a huge plus. The long-used mountain theme is simple but effective, and the font used for the state name is excellent. Less is definitely more here. Not much else to say!

For more information on state plates, check out and The License Plate Shack.

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