Friday, March 11, 2011

Tanks are Mighty Fine Things

 We just uncovered this example of corporate publishing from WWII.  It was put out by Chrysler to advertise their contribution to the war effort. The book contains wonderful examples of war effort prose, as well as illustrations ranging from (frankly hokey) improbable looking watercolours of tanks rampaging over palm trees through dense jungle on Pacific islands to good photographs of the Chrysler production line. And of course it provides a defence materiel and defence production narrative from the perspective of a significant supplier.

With our historical collections I'm always fascinated by the lingo, the vernacular, and the popular culture of the day: be it 1746, 1846 or 1946.  I've heard many descriptions of tanks in my life - including a few startled epithets of my own as I see 20 tons of rumbling steel and gun barrel lumber down the laneway in my rearview mirror when I'm at The Military Museums - but I've never heard of them described as "Mighty Fine Things".

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