Erratic Phenomena | Leslie Ragan’s Visions of Progress
This powerful Art Deco poster, painted in 1938, is perhaps Ragan’s most famous. Travel by Train, a great book which surveys 80 years of train advertising art, describes it better than I can:
"Significant in subject, setting and style, this work depicts the 20th Century Limited, the nation’s foremost passenger train, as streamlined by industrial designer Henry Dreyfuss in 1938… ‘One of the most distinctive pieces of machinery ever seen on any track,’ bragged New York Central System publicists… Recognized today as a defining American machine age poster image, it is often compared to the work of renowned European poster artist A. M. Cassandre. Set along the Hudson River, famously promoted as the "Water Level Route," the image focuses on the locomotive’s hallmark aluminum fin (meant to recall a Roman Centurion’s helmet) while deliberately masking mechanical details in shadow."
(Source: littlebunnysunshine, via vintascope)