Ben Nason poster promoting travel to Nantucket

[Ben] Nason, NANTUCKET / THE NEW HAVEN RAILROAD. [New Haven? ca. 1941-1955.]
Lithograph printed in color, 42”h x 28”w at sheet edge

A lovely travel poster promoting tourism to the island of Nantucket, eminently displayable for its generous size, vivid color and evocative graphic design. The image features the Pacific Club on Main Street, originally built in 1772 as the warehouse of merchant William Rotch.

This is one of several travel posters commissioned by the New Haven Railroad and first issued just before the beginning of World War II.

“The New Haven was an extremely passenger oriented railroad and a great proportion of its revenues came from New England vacation travel. An important element of the New Haven’s postwar vacation travel marketing campaign was a series of seven travel posters, each about 27 by 42 inches in size, which promoted popular vacation destinations directly served by New Haven Railroad passenger trains. Designed with a somewhat stylized family resemblance by an artist named Ben Nason and executed in bright colors using an airbrush technique, these travel posters were printed (perhaps at first) starting about 1941.


“Distribution was curtailed during the Second World War, when all non-essential travel was actively discouraged by the railroad. However, the Nason posters were widely distributed to stations, ticket offices, travel agencies, and other interested parties (such as stores) starting in late 1945. [They] remained in service (although perhaps in limited numbers towards the end) up through at least the middle of 1955.” (web site of the New Haven Railroad Historical and Technical Association)

Other posters in the series touted the charms of the Berkshires, Boston, Cape Cod, Connecticut, Martha’s Vineyard, and Rhode Island. All employed colorful and highly stylized images of the natural and architectural attractions of the areas depicted.


Minor marginal soiling and repairs, else excellent