"Washington" National Airlines Travel Poster by Bill Simon, circa 1960s

This is a National Airlines Travel poster advertising Washington DC as a destination for travelers. Made in the 1960s, this color lithograph poster was designed by Bill Simon. The colorful poster features some of the most iconic DC imagery including the Lincoln Memorial, cherry blossoms, the Washington Memorial, and the Capitol Building. Backed in linen, the poster is archivally framed in a sleek black frame matching the poster’s aesthetic.

National Airlines operated from 1934 to 1980 and was the first FAA approved air service to offer short takeoff and landing aircrafts (STOL). With this system, the airline could offer more flights without requiring expensive infrastructure costs to build long ramps. Eventually, the company expanded its reach and offered longer flights, promoting its “coast-to-coast-to-coast” trips. Beginning in 1948, National Airlines provided flights to and from Washington DC.

Posters such as these advertised the United States capital as a destination for travelers and highlighted the beautiful scenery and history the city had to offer. In the 1960s, flying became a more common and affordable activity. Commercial air travel grew and the event became more about the destination rather than the luxurious, high class experience of flying. Airlines began to advertise the destinations rather than fancy plane rides. This poster does not feature a plane, even in the background, but instead focuses the viewer on the experience of the destination.

The artist, Bill Simon, spent many years as an advertisement artist. He made numerous posters for National Airlines throughout the 1960s. Simon used bold, bright colors paired with detailed scenes to promote a city’s best qualities.

CONDITION:

Overall very good condition. The poster shows no signs of creasing, stains, or loss. The colors are vibrant and the lettering is clear. This poster has been framed according to modern archival standards with linen backing and UV protective glass.

Framed Dimensions: 45” H x 32” W x 1 ½” D




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