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Supersonic Clipper

Supersonic Clipper

Year: Circa 1965

Artist: Unknown

Size: 44 X 34.5


Notable sales:

Potter & Potter Auctions, jan 2022, $3,600


A fabulous, rare poster capturing Pan Am's ambition for future supersonic flight. While this poster was obviously not photographed by Chester Kronfeld, it is captured in the Kronfeld series since it resembles the design style of this series.


Pan Am toyed with the idea of adding supersonic jets to its fleet and took options for 6 Concordes in the early 1960s before President Kennedy announced US commitment and support to develop an American SST. Ultimately, the supersonic jets were not economically viable and the American development program was dropped in the early 1970s, while the Concorde program was significantly curtailed. Pan Am never exercised its Concorde options.


From the late 1950s through the mid-1960s, Pan Am produced a poster series based on photographs by Chester "Blackie" Kronfeld who was Pan Am's staff photographer from 1950 through his tragic death in an American Airlines plane crash on March 1, 1962 while on assignment.


This series of posters includes a couple of notable departures from previous and future Pan Am posters. First, they have a horizontal  orientation. Second, they are larger than the typical 28 x 42 poster, measureing 44 x 34.5. Finally, this series leverages destination images as the poster hero, with the only text telling you that Pan Am will take you there.


Pan Am published several versions of this poster series, first with a black and red Pan American logo tagline with a stylized prop plane, then a similar Pan American logo tagline with a jet plane, and finally a blue and red Pan Am logo tagline with a jet plane.

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