In trying to put together the history of the Post Office : Lines of Communication posters last week, I spent some time wandering within the BT archives. Where I found this.
Which does, truly, justify the existence of the entire archive on its own. It’s by Clifford and Rosemary Ellis, it’s from 1935, and it is bonkers. I also have no idea what it means. Answers on a postcard please, if you have any.
Now I’ve mentioned before that the BT online archive is quite a curious and obscure thing, which may perhaps be why this Abram Games has lurked there unnoticed for so long.
On the other hand, its obscurity may have something to do with the fact that the archive’s search facility is, how shall we say this, a bit challenging. A search for Abram Games doesn’t bring it up, while a search on Greetings telegram just produces a deluge of material; I only found this by putting in ‘Good wishes’.
But there is good news on this front, because BT do now have a more accessible way of looking at some of these images, which is the interestingly named Telefocus Media Gallery, a title which for some reason just makes me visualise the Post Office Tower, but never mind. It’s mainly aimed at picture researchers, but it does have a reasonably browsable gallery of images, including both of the ones above and plenty more besides.
Be warned though, there are still lots of pictures of Busby and trimphones in there, so take care.
I did also discover a bit more about the Lines of Communications posters while I was there. Mainly that there is also an artwork by Abram Games for the series. All I can tell you about it, because there is no illustration, is that it features ‘twelve coast radio stations working to ships’ and is, once again, artwork. If anyone fancies a stroll down to Holborn in order to tell me whether it’s as good as the rest or not, feel free.
More strangely, I found this.
It’s by Beaumont, and it is an actual poster which seems to have made it out into the world rather than just existing as artwork. If possibly just once, because I’ve only found it in a single auction, which was Van Sabben’s last sale just a few months ago. (They regularly get interesting GPO posters for each sale, and I would like to know where from). But this one isn’t where it ought to be in the BT Catalogue – not even its artwork – so the mystery just deepens. Any more thoughts anyone?