digital collage book, 2018
The advertisements and articles in this publication were taken from various issues of The American Magazine, a periodical published from 1906 through 1956. Chronicling American life through written pieces and visuals, the magazine captures many cultural conditions from the first half of 20th-century America. Paging through its volumes, one can find an abundance of travel advertisements and articles. This is especially true of issues dating back to the 1950s, during which both domestic and international travel became more accessible to the general public. Sometimes referred to as the "Golden Age" of air travel, the 1950s was a time in which long-distance travel was a new and exciting prospect for those who could afford it. The popularization of flying, as well as other improved forms of transportation such as cross-country trains, fostered a new excitement toward vacationing.
Common themes in the travel advertisements displayed in The American Magazine include the escape from every-day life, exoticization of non-Western places, and travel as a family bonding activity. By looking at these advertisements, we can learn about the desires of Americans in the 1950s. Additionally, we can understand who these advertisements targeted, and who was excluded from the narrative.