This travel poster promotes tourism to Australia on board the Orient Line's passenger ships travelling to Italy, Egypt, Ceylon and finally Australia. It commemorates the landing of Captain James Cook's in Australia on 27 April 1770 and British exploration of the continent's east coast. Printed in Britain, this poster consists of a lithographic print of Captain Cook with an octant and globe, flanked by HMB ENDEAVOUR and an Orient Line steamer. The position of the ships suggests passengers will travel in the footsteps of Captain Cook.
SignificanceThis poster highlights the ongoing public interest in Captain Cook and advertising methods in the 1930s, illustrating how posters employed historical figures and events to market tourism to national and international travellers.
HistoryThe Orient Line was a British shipping company that provided premier passenger travel between Britain and Australia. Formed by Anderson, Thomson and Company in 1863 it was eventually absorbed into the P&O Line in 1966. During the 1920s the Orient Line sought to replenish its tonnage and commissioned the construction of five sleek new turbine-driven ships: ORAMA, ORONSAY, OTRANTO, ORFORD and ORONTES, completed between 1924 and 1929. The magnificent 20,000 toners were designed to carry over 1,200 migrants in modest third class accommodation and almost 600 first class passengers in opulent surroundings. By the mid-1930s the third class capacity on these ships was reduced and renamed tourist class. During this busy period of the 1920s and 1930s the Orient Line issued thousands of travel posters promoting their ships and destinations.
Throughout the 20th century posters have been used as a relatively inexpensive, eye catching and easily distributed way of marketing an idea or product. The travel poster became a common sight during the 1930s, their primary role to promote tourism and business for shipping lines, railway companies, towns and shops. They were often displayed in ticket office windows and docks.
Elijah Albert Cox was a mural painter and poster artist active in the 20th century. His work included commissions for railway and shipping companies and the Empire Marketing Board.
Primary title: Orient Line to Australia : Italy, Egypt, Ceylon
Web title: Orient line to Australia