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Poster, Post Office Underground Mail Train: London

This is a Poster. It is dated ca. 1935. Its medium is offset lithograph on paper. It is a part of the Drawings, Prints, and Graphic Design department.

This lithographic poster advertising the Post Office Underground Mail Train was designed after illustrator Lili Réthi fled Vienna as a result of rampant anti-Semitism in the 1930s. Réthi’s illustration conveys both the strength and scale of modern industry, but also the essential human intervention—mail workers are shown actively moving containers onto a mail train that is momentarily parked at a London Underground station. The scene depicts a specific, perhaps ubiquitous, moment but also suggests movement, continuation, speed, and might. Historically, the London Mail Train ran silently and unnoticed below ground between Paddington and Whitechapel. This line, with its own exclusive tunnel, was used to transport mail from mail rail stations to sorting facilities throughout the city. This poster is one of only two that Réthi is known to have executed while in London. The other is a 1937 color lithograph promoting the London, Midland and Scottish Railway (LMS) Crewe Works, a locomotive plant in England.

This object was donated by George R. Kravis II. It is credited Gift of George R. Kravis II.

Our curators have highlighted 1 object that are related to this one.

Its dimensions are

102 × 126.5 cm (40 3/16 × 49 13/16 in.)

It is inscribed

In plate, at bottom: Post Office Underground Mail Train: London

Cite this object as

Poster, Post Office Underground Mail Train: London; offset lithograph on paper; 102 × 126.5 cm (40 3/16 × 49 13/16 in.); Gift of George R. Kravis II; 2018-22-116

This object was previously on display as a part of the exhibition Energizing the Everyday: Gifts From the George R. Kravis II Collection.

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<ref name=CH>{{cite web |url= |title=Poster, Post Office Underground Mail Train: London |author=Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum |accessdate=2 October 2022 |publisher=Smithsonian Institution}}</ref>