I do like a sharp-eyed reader. Sheila got in contact to show me this poster, which she’d just bought on eBay.
It’s great, isn’t it. But I can’t tell you anything definite about it, because it isn’t signed. Sheila, however, has a theory.
Compare and contrast with this, which is a Tom Eckersley classic.
These children are, if not twins, then certainly close relatives.
So is this a hitherto unknown Eckersley? Well it might be. The construction of the faces are almost identical, and so little is known about British commercial posters of this period that I wouldn’t be at all surprised at all if an entirely new poster turned up.
Equally, though – and this is Mr Crownfolio’s theory – it’s possible that another graphic designer saw Eckersley’s poster and rather liked the way that the face had been done. So when he or she got the right commission which involved drawing a child, they took some inspiration from the Mabletherpe little girl.
One possible way to sort this might involve going through a complete set of graphic design and poster annuals for the late 1950s and seeing whether the electric hot water poster is mentioned at all. Sadly I can’t volunteer, as we don’t have a full set. But if anyone else wants to have a go, or has any other theories or knowledge about this poster, do let us all know in the comments below.