Poster, Post Office Underground Mail Train: London, ca. 1935
This lithographic poster advertising the Post Office Underground Mail Train was designed after illustrator Lili Réthi fled Vienna as a result of rampant anti-Semitism in the 1930s. Réthi’s illustration conveys both the strength and scale of modern industry, but also the essential human intervention—mail workers are shown actively moving containers onto a mail train that is momentarily parked at a London Underground station. The scene depicts a specific, perhaps ubiquitous, moment but also suggests movement, continuation, speed, and might. Historically, the London Mail Train ran silently and unnoticed below ground between Paddington and Whitechapel. This line, with its own exclusive tunnel, was used to transport mail from mail rail stations to sorting facilities throughout the city. This poster is one of only two that Réthi is known to have executed while in London. The other is a 1937 color lithograph promoting the London, Midland and Scottish Railway (LMS) Crewe Works, a locomotive plant in England.
This object was
George R. Kravis II.
It is credited
Gift of George R. Kravis II.
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Its dimensions are
102 × 126.5 cm (40 3/16 × 49 13/16 in.)
It is inscribed
In plate, at bottom: Post Office Underground Mail Train: London
Cite this object as
Poster, Post Office Underground Mail Train: London, ca. 1935; offset lithograph on paper; 102 × 126.5 cm (40 3/16 × 49 13/16 in.); Gift of George R. Kravis II; 2018-22-116
This object was previously on display as a part of the exhibition Energizing the Everyday: Gifts From the George R. Kravis II Collection.