Friday, August 10, 2007

Fishing with Charles Harper

The purpose of this book is quite simple. It is to help American motorists get more pleasure out of recreational opportunities offered by their family cars.

It has been stated–this is probably more of a guess than a statistic–that Americans depend on their motor cars for 80 per cent of their outdoor recreation.

In any event, it can hardly be denied that over the past fifty years the automobile has given us an increasingly greater participation in outdoor activities.

It is a fact that nowadays every trout in America is in danger for its life.

This, then, is a tourist's-eye view of America outdoors, made up of selected articles which appeared during the past few years in the Ford Times and Lincoln-Mercury Times, periodicals which are distributed by Ford, Lincoln, and Mercury dealers as a courtesy to their neighbours and customers.

Modest in purpose, the book may perhaps suggest a concept which stands simple, clear, and understandable ina confused world–the concept of a young, vigorous people at play in a great land.

From "Ford Treasury of the Outdoors", published by Simon and Schuster, New York. Copyright 1952 by Ford Motor Company, Dearborn, Michigan.

*All of these images have been added to my Fishing Flickr set and my Charles Harper Flickr set.


  1. Tris Mast12:57 PM

    Just seeing these makes my whole day. Thank you. Two other great inspirations from Ford Times that I'd love to see a post on are Cliff Roberts and Harry Borgman. Roberts did some great animal illustrations in that publication.

  2. Thanks for your comment, tris mast. I'm not aware of the work of those artists but since you've brought them to our attention, perhaps someone will step forward with some examples... and I'll keep an eye out for them as well. :-)

  3. Beautiful illustrations! (They really are an inspiration for me today, since I'm currently designing a cover with fish as a theme.)

    Thanks, Leif! :)

  4. I'm thrilled to hear this blog has fulfilled it's stated purpose for you today, Chrissie - you are most welcome! :-)

  5. Bob-O8:12 PM

    These illustrations take me back to the books (which I inherited from my older sisters), of my childhood. Not the subject of fish necessarily, but the retro style itself. It's wonderful. Thank-you for posting them.

  6. Neil H.9:43 PM

    Hi Leif,

    Leaving a comment here because I don't have your email address. I love your blog and mid-century illustration. Tonight I posted a set of modest illustrations from a 1957 free-bee cookbook called "Metropolitan Cook Book" (Met Life Insurance marketing ephemera). If you've already seen these, apologies. Again, they are modest in aim and scope, but true to the era. If you want to make any sort of use of them, please be my guest.

    Neil, NC, USA

  7. Neil H.9:45 PM

    Re-posting link that got cut off:

    Sorry 'bout that

  8. Neil H.9:53 PM

    God I'm a complete idiot. For the third time, I'll try to post a link to my flickr set. I'm sorry.

    I posted them under the username spiroagnewisdead



    Email me at spiroagnewisdead at yahoo if you need to.

  9. Hey thanks Neil! And sorry for all the trouble you went through to get that info out so we could enjoy those cool images ;-)

    As it tuns out, I have a copy of that little booklet too - and so do quite a few other Flickrites, I discovered when i added some scans from it a while back. Its been republished in several editions over the years --- but that doesn't take anything away from the art, which is SO worth looking at again.

    For those who want a quick hyperlink to Neil's scans, click here

  10. My pleasure, bob-o. I love hearing that these images take you back... that's what its all about! :-)

  11. I came across your site looking for Charley Harper. What a gorgeous site this is! Also, if anyone wants it, there are full colour scans of the whole of "Ford treasury of the Outdoors" and also of "Ford treasury of Station Wagon living" (equally quirky illustrations) at the American libraries internet archive here:

    and here: