Saturday, 19 December 2009
“I’ll be Home for Christmas”
The trusty Greyhound bus barges its way through the snow to reunite the post-war family for Christmas. The illustrator paints a picture of togetherness embedded in the deep shadows of Forties film noir. The copywriter rises to the occasion with “millions of men rolling home, framed in the windows of every bus”, evoking the photographs of Esther Bubley and Robert Frank. A new car may seem an extravagant Christmas gift but a new truck really stretches the bounds of credulity. The theme is that all the trappings of Christmas are conveyed to us in trucks for which we should all be grateful. There was a time before road transport when Christmas trees travelled by train. Ernest Hamlin Baker imagined what this would have looked like for a characteristic Fortune cover in December 1931.