Pick Of The Picture Books: 100 Years of Advertising in British Aviation, by Colin Cruddas

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The Independent Culture

Anyone who pines for a more innocent age of air travel will relish these memories of Rolls-Royce engines and "India by Imperial Airways". 100 Years of Advertising in British Aviation, by Colin Cruddas (The History Press, £30) is not an in-flight meal but a proper feast of quirky adverts – from a Mr Neale requiring donations totalling £45,000 to build his Advanced Dirigible in 1910 to a 1953 poster advertising Australia and Qantas, with a swimsuit-clad lovely who would be just as at home in a modern TV campaign.

These charming images with Cruddas's whimsical captions will delight far more than his slightly nerdy prose ("Saunders-Roe could rightly claim to have been a leading British aircraft manufacturer with many excellent innovative designs"), but the images are enough to sustain a lengthy soar through memories of more innocent times. Chapter Five, "A World of Difference", claims to stretch from 1945 to 2008, but there are in fact few images from the years after the 1950s. Perhaps Cruddas could not find any modern advertising in aviation to compare to the patriotic glory of the De Havilland Comet (c.1960), "the modern airliner of universal application".

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