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Speaker: Selling the Dream: The Art of Early New Zealand Tourism

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  • Graeme Edgeler,

    Do we know if people were ever disappointed when they got here?

    Wellington, New Zealand • Since Nov 2006 • 3202 posts Report Reply

  • Ian Dalziel,

    Up against the wall...
    I have memories of a lost Eldorado of those posters: as a kid in Sydenham, the Railway was a large part of the informal entertainment infrastructure, many a weekend was spent playing under the Sydenham/Colombo over-bridge and along the tracks, towers and tunnels - and stacked in deeply seried ranks were all the posters from south island railway stations still on their boards - bone dry under there it was - years later I went back all gone, dammit!
    And in the February 2011 earthquake I also lost a master set of NZR carriage and station stencils (rescued from the demolition of the Addington workshops} - but did manage to hang onto some of the old Health and Safety posters from the '30s to '80s... showing a similar stylistic evolution.
    Somewhere I also have a box of slides from '70s Guthrey's Travel promotions -
    Fellow ephemera collectors may be interested in the NZ Society of Ephemerists the web site may not be up to date but their excellent magazine continues (I am printing issue 8 this weekend) and it has had good articles on travel and tourism ephemera and much, much more...

    Christchurch • Since Dec 2006 • 7892 posts Report Reply

  • Chris Waugh, in reply to Graeme Edgeler,

    I seem to recall reading that Rudyard Kipling, after his visit to New Zealand, said something about how he'd never heard people talk so much about hard work and do so little of it. Googling now... This has a rather more positive spin:

    His visit to this country in 1891 was an unqualified success. He fell in love with us New Zealanders, and with the country.

    "Wellington opened another world of kindly people ... large, long-eyelashed and extraordinarily good-looking..." he wrote. Take a bow, you Wellingtonians!

    Interestingly, he thought New Zealand's greatest role would be in literature, and that women writers would play a determining role in our literature. But that the country ('one big encumbered estate') would need to become economically independent before this happened.

    Wellington • Since Jan 2007 • 2401 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown, in reply to Chris Waugh,

    The excellent 1959 anthology Verdict on New Zealand, edited by Desmond Stone, features visitors' accounts as far back as Samuel Butler, including those of Mark Twain and George Bernard Shaw.

    Most visitors are highly impressed by New Zealand's natural attractions, and fond of, if somewhat exasperated by, its people.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22756 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha, in reply to Russell Brown,

    Most visitors are highly impressed by New Zealand's natural attractions, and fond of, if somewhat exasperated by, its people.

    especially the latter who seek reassurance about the former

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 19688 posts Report Reply

  • Robyn Gallagher,

    OMG, this is fabulous. I've already fallen in love with the old tourism posters, courtesy of the large collection digitised at Digital NZ. But this takes it to a whole nother level, y'all. I'm saving my pennies for this one.

    Raglan • Since Nov 2006 • 1946 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown, in reply to Sacha,

    especially the latter who seek reassurance about the former

    Oh yes. We have been asking visitors what they think of New Zealand since there has been New Zealand.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22756 posts Report Reply

  • Chris Waugh, in reply to Russell Brown,

    The excellent 1959 anthology Verdict on New Zealand

    Surprisingly difficult to google. Will persist, though.

    ETA: This looks interesting, but much earlier than the likes of Kipling, Twain or Butler.

    Wellington • Since Jan 2007 • 2401 posts Report Reply

  • Peter Alsop, in reply to Ian Dalziel,

    Thx Ian, can recommend the magazine. Barry Hancox, Editor, has been very supportive of the book and contributed a stunning essay on the significance of glass slides (see bottom image on post). thx.

    Wellington • Since Aug 2012 • 38 posts Report Reply

  • Steve Barnes,

    The third and the final image in the main post. You can almost see where Helen Clark found her image.
    I remember such things from back in Britain, British Rail posters were in a similar vein.
    It is a crying shame the way successive Governments have destroyed the institute of rail, it was always so much more than a mode of transport. Studios, workshops, cafés, heck, even a form of Social Welfare. Such a loss.

    Peria • Since Dec 2006 • 5521 posts Report Reply

  • Chris Waugh,

    Here's a few more 1930s posters.

    Wellington • Since Jan 2007 • 2401 posts Report Reply

  • Chris Waugh, in reply to Steve Barnes,

    Wellington • Since Jan 2007 • 2401 posts Report Reply

  • Chris Waugh,

    And some more. Wow, only 29 hours from San Francisco to Australia and New Zealand on new DC6s, with day-long thrills in gay Honolulu! And Air New Zealand's 'edge of the world' is pretty cool too - don't sail too far east, you might fall off!

    Alright, I'll stop now.

    Wellington • Since Jan 2007 • 2401 posts Report Reply

  • Peter Alsop, in reply to Chris Waugh,

    Thx Chris, hadnt seen the 'probably best' blog before, though all those images are in the book. Those images are actually from the Turnbull library (after 2 years on a book you sadly recognise the scans), and should have been attributed to Turnbull on the post. The other post you shared is mainly post 1960, though the top advert is lovely and part of a series that ran in top US household and lifestyle mags in the mid 1930s, incuding Forbes magazine. One of the series, though unsure which image, received a design accolade. There are 5 images from that series in the book, actually one of my faourite spreads in the book.

    Wellington • Since Aug 2012 • 38 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown, in reply to Chris Waugh,

    The excellent 1959 anthology Verdict on New Zealand

    Surprisingly difficult to google. Will persist, though.

    Published by A.H. & A.W. Reed, if that helps.

    I'll look out for a copy for you -- it's a very, very interesting book that substantially informed my introductory essay for Great New Zealand Argument.

    I found mine in a Wellington second-hand bookshop. Which is actually where I found most of my favourite books.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22756 posts Report Reply

  • Chris Waugh, in reply to Russell Brown,

    if that helps.

    Indeed it does, thanks, although Google has no excerpts or reviews.

    This one also looks fascinating. Good thing I'm on holiday, damn internet has so many tangents to follow.

    I found mine in a Wellington second-hand bookshop. Which is actually where I found most of my favourite books.

    Which reminds me of a couple of markets I haven't visited in a while. Trouble is, my wife is getting frustrated with how much space my books are occupying. Need to move to NZ, win Lotto, buy a farm, and convert the barn into a library...

    Wellington • Since Jan 2007 • 2401 posts Report Reply

  • Simon Grigg, in reply to Russell Brown,

    Oh yes. We have been asking visitors what they think of New Zealand since there has been New Zealand.

    I've mentally noted too that I can no longer express opinions about the homeland as somebody based in the outlands without being pulled up sharply by those still in-country.

    That I would express mostly the same views if my address was still in Auckland and I spend up to three months every year in NZ (and am about to spend much more) is irrelevant it seems.

    I love those posters, even if they were mostly fantasy - we had a unique twist to the sales pitch, sadly MIA now.

    As Ian says: railway stations. I'm sure I remember as a kid the Dennis Beytagh poster in Auckland Station.

    I think I need this book....

    Just another klong... • Since Nov 2006 • 3283 posts Report Reply

  • Hebe, in reply to Chris Waugh,

    Love them; I wish I could get reprint posters of these.

    Christchurch • Since May 2011 • 2896 posts Report Reply

  • Chris Waugh,

    Page 31 of A First Year in Canterbury Settlement by Samuel Butler. I love the description of the conversation.

    Wellington • Since Jan 2007 • 2401 posts Report Reply

  • Chris Waugh, in reply to Hebe,

    Love them; I wish I could get reprint posters of these.

    Try here.

    Wellington • Since Jan 2007 • 2401 posts Report Reply

  • Steve Barnes, in reply to Chris Waugh,

    Attachment

    You might like this one.

    Reminds me of a Push Push song.
    But this from ProbablyBest reminds me of Russell somehow...

    Peria • Since Dec 2006 • 5521 posts Report Reply

  • Hebe, in reply to Chris Waugh,

    Hey thanks. The power of the internet-thingy: you post from Beijing, I like in Christchurch, you reply from Beijing with the posters's website and contacts, and if it weren't cloudy and raining and I got out the binoculars, I could see that place on the hills nearby (2km away). I can see where some cheques are going soon...That retro-innocence vision of NZ as a South Pacific paradise is comforting.

    Christchurch • Since May 2011 • 2896 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown,

    Attachment

    And there's some more on Retronaut, including this one, which I just had to repost here. (Credit: New Zealand Tourism Department / National Library of New Zealand)

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22756 posts Report Reply

  • Peter Alsop, in reply to Hebe,

    Reproductions? Hell, why not purchase a definitive collection of the work in a high-end large-format coffee table book that had authenticity as its key aim (conflict of interest acknowledged)! We can save the vintage authentic v reproduction debate for another blog :-} . The large majority of the nearly 1000 images in the book have hitherto not been publicly shown/celebrated before (well, based on my decade of looking and hunting at least), many images finding their way home from abroad.

    Wellington • Since Aug 2012 • 38 posts Report Reply

  • Chris Waugh, in reply to Hebe,

    That retro-innocence vision of NZ as a South Pacific paradise is comforting.

    Sadly not retro. I still meet plenty of North Americans and Europeans who still think the South Pacific is a paradise on earth populated by noble savages and all that bollocks. It's an interesting attitude to see in an historic context, but it's not comforting when it's in people in their 20s and 30s actually talking to me. That Gauguin fellow has a lot to answer for.

    Wellington • Since Jan 2007 • 2401 posts Report Reply

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