1949: Architectural Illustrators Need Tailfins To Sell Buildings!

Murilee Martin
by Murilee Martin
1949 architectural illustrators need tailfins to sell buildings

While waiting for my wife to stagger out of the dentist’s chair after a root canal, I grew bored with the October, 1994 issue of Highlights and other similar waiting-room reading material and noticed this painting on the wall. It turned out to be the illustration made by the Denver architectural firm that built the dentist’s office building, back in 1949.

Look at those fins! Harley Earl generally gets the credit for the first postwar Detroit tailfins, which went on the ’48 Cadillac. It wasn’t long before artists trying to pitch building plans started adding this futuristic styling element to the idealized cars in their illustrations. Sure, it looked dated as hell 15 years later, but by then you saw Chrysler Turbine-influenced cars gracing these paintings.

You’ve really got to admire the snazzily-dressed gentleman— no doubt heading out to his parked Caddy— giving the once-over-twice to the babe with the 11″ waist. Owooooo!

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  • Dusterdude @SCE to AUX , agree CEO pay would equate to a nominal amount if split amongst all UAW members . My point was optics are bad , both total compensation and % increases . IE for example if Mary Barra was paid $10 million including merit bonuses , is that really underpaid ?
  • ToolGuy "At risk of oversimplification, a heat pump takes ambient air, compresses it, and then uses the condenser’s heat to warm up the air it just grabbed from outside."• This description seems fairly dramatically wrong to me.
  • SCE to AUX The UAW may win the battle, but it will lose the war.The mfrs will never agree to job protections, and production outsourcing will match any pay increases won by the union.With most US market cars not produced by Detroit, how many people really care about this strike?
  • El scotto My iPhone gets too hot while using the wireless charging in my BMW. One more line on why someone is a dumbazz list?
  • Buickman yeah, get Ron Fellows each time I get a Vette. screw Caddy.