Friday, March 11, 2011

Air Afrique: Route Map Poster c.1962

The penultimate post for Air Afrique Week brings this polychrome poster showing the home ports of the consortium. Little information is available for this print, which was a lot in a New York vintage poster auction in February 2010. While the usual suspects of Air Afrique's destinations from Brazzaville to Bamako, Douala to Dakar, Freetown to Fort-Lamy are evident, this low-resolution preview doesn't reveal many of the details.

It seems that, near the crane-like yellow and blue bird straddling the Nigeria-Cameroon border are some mysterious destinations, and the oval inset map shows a zebra-stripe of trans-Saharan routes by the dozen, including what looks to be some very easterly swings, suggesting something like a Bangui-to-Budapest or Malabo-to-Moscow, which is fantasy.

The auction catalogue gives a date of 1950, but this is more than a decade before Air Afrique was incorporated. Perhaps, given the vintage, this was willful rather than a matter of record.

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