Art Deco was inspired by industry, and captains of industry read Fortune.
The picture in this ad was airbrushed. For those who don't know but are interested, here's a quick explanation. Those who care but already know or don't know and don't care can skip the next paragraph. The ones who don't care are probably reading OMG and, if they ever wound up at PAG!, it was only by accident, and only hung around long enough to go "what-EVERRRR".
|Fishes with her bare hands, and votes.|
According to Wikipedia, The first real commercial atomizing airbrush was presented at the World's Columbian Exposition (World's Fair) in Chicago in 1893. Hey, cool! Also, the same World's Fair was the scene of the world's first serial murderer, as described in Devil in the White City, (which is an okay book - equal parts interesting history lesson, tedious history lesson, and tedious procedural crime drama.)
Lots of Art Deco flat art utilized the airbrush. Deco is typified by dramatic color, minimalist design, stark silhouettes and clean lines, which lend themselves very well to the cut-stencil technique involved in airbrushing.
In this factory scene, we see a load of scrap metal being loaded into a rail car on a magnetic crane. Clouds of backlit smoke supply your standard deco drama. Silhouettes of smokestacks and factory windows were obviously sprayed over an adhesive stencil, or "frisket", cut with an X-Acto knife. Climax is trumpeting the benefits of molybdenum steel, as opposed to ordinary mild steel, for structural engineering. Moly steel is stronger, is less effected by heat, and less prone to failure. Climax's angle is that it's more expensive to replace a part than to make it stronger the first time. Fair enough.
I learned to say "molybdenum" around the age of ten when my dad bought me a second hand Team Mongoose BMX frame, and built me my first good bike. The frame was "chromoly", which is an alloy of chromium, molybdenum, and good old steel. It made for a lighter, stronger frame. Chromoly is still used for things like roll cages in racing cars and, believe it or not, bike frames. Large bike manufacturers have moved on to aluminum and carbon fiber, but there are still small boutique bike manufacturers that do incredible things with steel (chromoly is still a type of steel) like Surly and Salsa. In the hands of a really good fabricator, chromoly steel can be as light and agile as aluminum without the harshness that comes with a typical ALU frame. When aluminum flexes, it suffers, and eventually will break. It's best to keep aluminum from flexing. But steel can be made into a spring, with clever tempering. A steel frame can be designed to absorb rough vibration without transmitting it to the rider, but an aluminum bike frame built strong enough to last will have to be thick enough to be harsh.
Anyway, please enjoy our special crop of this deco factory scene for your next CD cover, if you still use those things. We present it in slightly-higher-than-normal 2400px size, unpolluted by our watermark, for your delight. You're welcome.
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