This is a ticket to ride, fly, drive or sail. This is a lush visual history of the Golden Age of travel. In less than 200 years America perfected the automobile, invented airplanes, freeways, motels and road movies, and sent men to the Moon. Along the way, travel was democratized - enabling millions to visit distant countries, or simply explore their own. And though it may seem quaint in this era of long-haul flights and vacation packages, early leisure travel involved adventure, romance and privilege; the world was still vast and mysterious, its further reaches accessible only to those with time and money to spare. But the rise of commercial airlines brought far-flung locations within popular reach and reduced travel time to a matter of hours. Beach resorts, tanning, and family vacations followed, while singles were seduced by images of bikini-clad girls and handsome fellows lounging poolside. The appropriate excursion could refresh a marriage, provide escape from workaday reality, or broaden cultural horizons; and nowhere was travel so expedient and luxurious as America.
On high-speed trains and ocean liners, jets and Greyhound buses, or driving on the open road, Americans demanded ever greater ease of mobility and choice of destination. "20th Century Travel" offers a lush visual history of this wanderlust, via 400-plus print advertisements from the Jim Heimann Collection, tracing the evolution of leisure travel - from domestic to global, exclusive to popular, exotic to commonplace - and its crucial role in American culture. With an introduction, decade-by-decade text and illustrated timeline, this book highlights the cultural attitudes, social habits, and technological developments that transformed travel from a fearsome leap into the unknown into a wholesome, life-enhancing leisure activity: "20th Century Travel" takes us on a grand tour of a fast-receding Golden Age.
Cultural anthropologist and graphic design historian Jim Heimann is Executive Editor for TASCHEN America, and author of numerous books on architecture, pop culture, and the history of the West Coast, Los Angeles and Hollywood. His unrivaled private collection of ephemera has featured in museum exhibitions around the world and dozens of books. About the author: Allison Silver is a writer and editor based in New York City. A former contributing editor to Culture & Travel magazine, she was editor of The Los Angeles Times Sunday "Opinion" section, an editor of The New York Times "Week in Review," and a founding editor of The Washington Independent.