Tuesday, 15 June 2021

Motor Wonders

This Thomas Nelson gift book for children dates from 1924 and has a remarkably vibrant set of colour illustrations. The definition of a motor is extended to include any form of transport from motor cycles to zeppelins or battleships to fire appliances, that involves internal combustion.  They are pictures from a perfect world from which all the random untidiness of the streetscene has been removed.  While the sun shines on every scene the technology on display is the most advanced of its time.  It was a time when there was a much less complicated relationship with the idea of progress and continuous improvement.  Calculating the full environmental costs of new technologies has undermined public expectations of a future of endless advance to the frontiers of science.  On the cover is an illustration signed by Hugh Williams and some of those inside are signed by T W Holmes (1872-1929) - an illustrator of children’s annuals and magazines for boys, specialising in transport subjects.


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