We use cookies to track usage and preferences. See Cookie Policy
Pocketmags Digital Magazines
Pocketmags Digital Magazines
   You are currently viewing the Australia version of the site.
Would you like to switch to your local site?
Digital Subscriptions >  Latest Articles > Glasgow Museums’ collection of Anchor Line posters

Glasgow Museums’ collection  of Anchor Line posters
History Scotland

Glasgow Museums’ collection of Anchor Line posters

Posted Monday, 2 October 2017   |   1164 views   |   General Interest   |   Comments (0) Emily Malcolm, Curator of Transport & Technology, explores a colourful collection of historic travel posters, which convey the excitement of world travel in years gone by

Te Anchor Line was one of the Glasgow’s longest-lived shipping companies. The founders began chartering cargo ships to the Baltic in the 1830s and grew from strength to strength in the later part of the 19th century. By 1900 they had 27 ships supplying passenger and cargo services to America, Canada, the Mediterranean and through the Suez Canal to India.

In 1982, Glasgow Museums was gifted a collection of posters produced by the Anchor Line between 1914 and 1939. A new story display featuring twelve of the finest images and digital access to the entire collection opened at Riverside Museum in April 2017.

The evocative advertising images show everything from ships to elephants and from the Rock of Gibraltar to the skyline of New York. Most of the artwork is anonymous but there are designs by several prominent graphic artists of the 1920s and 1930s – Kenneth Shoesmith and Odin Rosenvinge among them.

The posters are in near perfect condition – their jewel-bright colours have been preserved because they were added to the design archive of the company and never actually used. A fascinating aspect of this is that each poster has a label attached detailing the printer and the quantities and dates of each print run.

Most of the posters had print runs of around 2,000, but 15,000 copies of a dramatic highland scene were ordered for distribution to Anchor Line agents in the USA and Canada in 1922. It probably played a part in creating the impression of Scotland many North American tourists still cherish today!

Other posters reflect the great social changes that were taking place in the early years of the 20th century. There are examples offering cheap assisted passage fares to Canada – as low as £2 per person in 1927, but also posters encouraging emigrants to pay visits to their homelands – showing emigration was no longer the one-way ticket it had been in earlier decades.

The posters also reveal the power of advertising – it is intriguing that a particularly jolly set of designs promoting cruises in the 1930s actually disguise the fact that the Anchor Line was struggling financially. The Great Depression saw a disastrous drop in the transatlantic passenger and cargo trade and cruising was an attempt to keep surplus vessels active while sailing on shorter trips to Gibraltar, Morocco and the ‘Cornish Riviera’.

It is also rather poignant that the final poster in the set, featuring a beautiful image of a girl in traditional North African dress (second from left above), advertises a cruise that never took place. Anchor Line offered two cruises to Portugal, Spain, Algeria and Morocco in July and August 1939. The second of these voyages was cancelled at the last minute as war loomed.

You can see more images and buy copies at Glasgow Museums’ online Photolibrary: www.csgimages.org.uk

For more great articles like this get the September-October issue of History Scotland below or subscribe and save.

Single Issue - May - June 2018 Replica & Mobile Edition included
Or 799 points
6 Month Digital Subscription
Only $ 7.33 per issue
Or 2199 points
Annual Digital Subscription
Only $ 7.00 per issue
Or 4199 points

View Issues

About History Scotland

History Scotland is Scotland's premier history magazine, providing fascinating features on topics from all branches and periods of Scottish history and archaeology, written by leading historians, archaeologists and museum curators. The magazine is

More great content like this...

For more great articles like this subscribe to History Scotland today.

Most read articles this month

Christmas Gifts for Her

Christmas Gifts for Her

Stuck for gift ideas for the lovely lady in your life? The Pocketmags team have pooled all their best ideas for gifts for her this Christmas. Get ready to earn some serious brownie points! More...
Christmas Gifts for Him

Christmas Gifts for Him

Why are men so hard to buy for?! If you're looking for gift ideas for the deserving gent in your life, look no further; the Pocketmags team have found some amazing gifts for him this Christmas. Boring socks begone! More...


Nashville songwriter Mark Cawley shares some tactics for reviving those elusive creative juices when you’ve lost the flow More...
3 Free Reads for the New Year

3 Free Reads for the New Year

Spend all your money in December? Us too. We’ve pulled together our 3 favourite free reads available for you on Pocketmags. Everyone loves a free read! More...
How I got  published

How I got published

The author’s debut was actually her sixth novel, she tells Dolores Gordon-Smith More...
Christmas Gifts for Kids

Christmas Gifts for Kids

Treat the smallest (and loudest) members of the family to something fun this festive season! We've rounded up our favourite gifts for kids to help you (oops, we mean Santa) out - just call us the Pocketmags elves! More...
News from the world of the piano

News from the world of the piano

Argerich and Babayan in Cleveland More...
Christmas Gifts for Everyone

Christmas Gifts for Everyone

Here at Pocketmags we're all about going digital, but we know our relatives might not always feel the same. Why not treat someone special to a print subscription from our sister site magazine.co.uk? Buy 3 Christmas gift subscriptions and you'll get £15 off at checkout. That's Christmas sorted! Here are our favourites to pick up and flick through all year round... More...
Christmas Gifts for Geeks

Christmas Gifts for Geeks

Don't get pwned this Christmas - we've got a list of the greatest gifts around for the geekiest member of your household. Prepare to beat Santa at his own game - these beauties are just what they're looking for under the tree... More...
3 Fitness Trends You Haven’t Tried

3 Fitness Trends You Haven’t Tried

We’ve all heard of the crazy exercises people are trying - from animal yoga to orange theory. But if one of your New Year's resolutions is to get fit and find some sort of exercise you’ll enjoy then maybe you will love one of these… More...
Vouchers Gift Cards A magazine subscription is the perfect gift but you'll need something to show on the big day. View All
Ways to Pay Pocketmags Payment Types
At Pocketmags you get Secure Billing Great Offers HTML Reader Gifting options Loyalty Points