Selling the early air age: aviation advertisements and the promotion of civil flying in Britain, 1911-1914
journal contributionposted on 05.10.2011, 13:32 by Lucy Budd
Transport historians are becoming increasingly attuned to the use of advertisements as a source of cultural reference. Though primarily designed to encourage the consumption of particular goods and services, advertisements also served to create, reinforce and intensify particular societal perceptions and cultural discourses surrounding the superiority (and thus desirability) of certain commodities, including different forms of transport and mobility. Through a content analysis of over 6,800 advertisements that appeared in one British weekly aeronautical newspaper, Aeroplane, between 8 June 1911 and 25 June 1914, this paper documents the changing nature of the aeronautical goods and services that were advertised during this period. It argues that, in addition to fulfilling a utilitarian commercial purpose, the advertisements served an important symbolic function. By alerting people to the availability of new aeronautical products, the advertisements provide a valuable insight into how the emerging new discipline of civilian aeronautics developed before the First World War.
- Architecture, Building and Civil Engineering