The University of Melbourne Archives (UMA) is pleased to announce that a selection of photographs and items from the Shell Historical Archive 2008.0045 have now been digitised and are available for viewing online. This collection is a rich source of photographs, images, souvenirs, artefacts and correspondence which offer insight into Australia’s motoring history.
In the post war years Shell produced a number of series of educational swapcard albums, calendars, posters and tour maps. They attracted many well known artists to work on these road side souvenir sets which later became sought after collectables – luckily many samples of these works have survived and are now available for access via UMA.
An example is Ralph Malcolm Warner who had formerly been well known for his work as a war artist who undertook a commission with Shell in 1959 to create a Discover Australia with Shell (DAWS) series of souvenir posters. This particular set of posters show various natural Australian settings featuring their wildflowers. Other poster series include illustrations of Australia’s unique shells and bird life. The DAWS campaign was a promotional program designed to advertise the company’s services, in particular the Shell Touring Service. The posters were available to all travellers who stopped at select Shell service stops to fill up their cars or plan their trip.
The image featured in this post is one of a set of twelve posters that depicts the Victorian Grampians in the springtime. It shows off Warner’s distinctive use of bright colours to highlight his wildflowers against the majestic Grampians setting. Notes about the place are conveniently added to the bottom of the poster which advise the traveller that ‘Among the natural features that make Australia a motorists wonderland are the Grampians’. In addition there is a handy reference guide to what the wildflowers are called.
To see Warner’s Australian Wildflower poster series and much more visit the University of Melbourne Archives website at http://archives.unimelb.edu.au/ If you wish to obtain publication standard copies of the images please refer all requests to email@example.com