23 de noviembre de 2015

The Typewriter Revolution reaches Europe

By not-so-secretive channels, this exciting book reached Switzerland today... First look: awesome! I cancelled all appointments for the day. You can reach me in the Kaffeehaus, reading reading reading.

21 de noviembre de 2015

Beautiful MON BUREAU Covers 1913/14

Have a look at these. I found them while digging in the Basel library's hidden treasures.
Doing so, I also discovered the amazing illustrator William Fell. Remark: only those illustrations labeled W. Fel can clearly be attributed to this master.

Is it "Fell"or "Fel"? According to the editorial of the No. 47 issue of Mon Bureau, it is "Fell". However, the images are signed "Fel".

A google search yields quite a few results for Fel's illustrations. Often, they are of erotic nature. However, I couldn't find any biographical material on this artist. Hopefully someone reads this and leaves a comment.

April 1913 cover of Mon Bureau. This French office magazine was edited by G. & M. Ravisse in Paris. Is it Monsieur Gaston Ravisse himself on the cover? Compare with the photograph below. I think there is strong similarities, down to the pince-nez (weak but visible on the photograph)

This is Hermes, or Mercury. Very fitting for a business magazine. Hermes holds the telegraph wires and literally uncovers or holds his protective hands over a contemporary office. W. Fel's signature on the lower right side.

There we go: Hermes, adorned with the very Mon Bureau magazine, looks triumphantly on what might be St. Sebastian, speared by a giant quilt, symbol of the old office world.

Sexy Hermes - please notice the winged heels - overlooking the city and the port, sends out the merchant ships. In his left hand, the herald's staff with two intertwined snakes.

September 1913 issue, William Fel differently. A serious yet confident-looking business man.

The first issue of 1914. William Fel cover again, Hermes / Mercury again, but a different atmosphere. A serious-looking God of commerce, with belching smokestacks in front of a fire-red sky.

The February 1914 edition. An interesting compound of a sprocket, symbolizing mechanics, and Hermes' symbols, the herald's staff and wings. 

Gaston Ravisse again? Yes I think so!

An animated business meeting. One of the participants, however, is pensively looking at the opposite factory.

Looking for the shiny white factory on the hill on the horizon.

A good working climate keeps the smokestacks smoking!