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Greenwich Observatory

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Greenwich Observatory, by Eric Ravilious, circa 1937

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Art of the poster label

Greenwich Observatory, 1937 (unused) : Eric Ravilious (1903-1942)

Watercolour

Ravilious was commissioned to design two posters for Greenwich. Neither was accepted. 'Although I greatly like the drawing' explained London Transport's Publicity Officer to the artist 'it is completely useless for the purpose of attracting traffic to Greenwich'.

 

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Sightseeing

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From its first pictorial poster in 1908, the Underground and then London Transport have promoted sightseeing in the capital. Posters encouraged visitors and Londoners alike to either take a conducted tour or to explore the city themselves. Well known landmarks such as Nelson's Column and Buckingham Palace featured the most frequently, although lesser known places of interest were also publicised. Many posters focused on a specific sight, others simply encouraged visitors to 'See London by coach' or 'See London in summer'. Green line coach and country bus services allowed sightseeing to extend beyond the city.
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Buildings & monuments

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A historic city such as London has many important buildings and monuments. The iconic image of the Houses of Parliament or Nelson's Column often appeared in London Transport posters. Some encouraged travel to those specific landmarks, others were to promote conducted tours. Lesser known buildings and monuments in and around London were also publicised. As well as traditional buildings and monuments of historic significance, new architectural developments in London have also been celebrated in posters.
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