Monday, April 25, 2011

Vintage School Posters: Macmillan Geography

If you went to school in the UK between the 1940s and the 1970s, there's a good chance that these posters, or the style of them at least will be familiar to you.

These are images from the Macmillan Geography Series that was used, almost as wallpaper, in classrooms across the country. It was a time when Geography was all about knowing the principal produce of a place: grapefruit from Florida, Apples from British Columbia, Pineapples from Australia. It was a time when it was thought important that the average British child knew what a cement quarry looked like from the air and knew about refrigerated transcontinental trains. It was equally a time when values were very different to our own today. In the South African posters the black workers toil smilingly in the sun whilst the white overlords look on benevolently, it was a time when children were shown the inside of American fur farms on their classroom walls, alongside the pictures of industrial whaling ships.

The phrase 'window on another time' is probably overused but it seems quite justified looking through the window-sized posters of the Macmillan Geography!

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