One element of the unrelenting enthusiasm for railway history is the poster. It is evident in the large body of literature, both academic and lay, on the subject. The majority of the literature though, deals with the posters of North America and Europe. Their Australian counterparts have not received the attention they deserve, something this paper attempts to redress. It undertakes an extensive examination of the many railway posters produced by Victorian Railways (VR), between the wars, under its visionary Head Commissioner, Harold Clapp. Utilising a geo-semiotic approach, it is argued that the railway posters of this period provide insights into the development of Victoria's tourist geography -an inventory of places and regions imbued with recreational and leisure assets. In so doing, trains, tourists, destinations and beaches were illustrated and verbalised as never before, using state-of-the-art techniques, derived from the new field of commercial art.
- railway posters
- Harold Clapp
- Victorian Railways
- commercial art
- Australian National Tourist Association