GALLERY: Guinness Time in the 1950s – design of the times

The set of Guinness papers we’ve been sorting through for their owner includes a fairly complete two-decade run of Guinness Time, the in-house magazine for the brewery at Park Royal.

While the con­tents is on the whole fair­ly dull (egg and spoon races, meet the toi­let atten­dants, and so on) the cov­ers are works of art, redo­lent of the peri­ods in which they were pro­duced.

Those pre­sent­ed below are all from the 1950s and so there are a cou­ple of ref­er­ences to TV, the hot trend of the day.

Guinness Time Summer 1956 -- a topiary seal.
Sum­mer 1956. Illus­tra­tor: Tom Eck­er­s­ley.
A man uses a giant bottle of Guinness as a telescope.
Autumn 1956. Illus­tra­tor: John Gilroy.

A woman swings on a bell while a man wails for his Guinness.
Christ­mas 1956. Illus­tra­tor uncred­it­ed but it feels as if we ought to recog­nise the style.
Two toucans nurture a pint of Guinness in a nest.
Spring 1957. Illus­tra­tor: Ray­mond Too­by.
Typographic illustration featuring a face and pint of beer.
Autumn 1957. Illus­tra­tor: Abram Games.
A bandsman with a wobbly tuba.
Christ­mas 1957. Illus­tra­tor: John Gilroy.
A man retrieves a bottle of guinness from his camel's hump.
Autumn 1958. Illus­tra­tor: ‘Smil­by’ (Fran­cis Wil­ford-Smith).
Santa drinks Guinness while watching TV.
Christ­mas 1958. Illus­tra­tor: ‘E‘ – Eck­er­s­ley again?
A toucan balances a pint glass on its beak.
Spring 1959. Illus­tra­tor: Smil­by.
Guinness at a garden exhibition.
Sum­mer 1959. Illus­tra­tor: B. Willi­son. (Any­one?)
A man powered by a Guinness scuba tank carries a whale out of the sea on a fingertip.
Autumn 1959. Illus­tra­tor: Har­ry Stevens, we think.

4 thoughts on “GALLERY: Guinness Time in the 1950s – design of the times”

  1. I was curi­ous about “Hang on the bell, Nel­lie” – the fact that they quote, or par­o­dy, an entire verse sug­gests it’d be some­thing known to their read­ers – so I inves­ti­gat­ed and found this. It was a pop­u­lar song of the time (first record­ed 1949 – but the turnover in pop­u­lar music was a lot slow­er then). Curi­ous­ly enough, it was based on an old­er source – a dra­mat­ic poem called “The Cur­few Must Not Ring Tonight”, which was pub­lished in 1870 (hav­ing been writ­ten three years ear­li­er, by a 16-year-old girl) and was a hit for decades after­ward. A Google image search for the title brings up some very dra­mat­ic illus­tra­tions of the cru­cial scene, includ­ing one which appears to be a (staged) pho­to­graph – that mod­el earned her fee.

    I can’t help with the illus­tra­tor, although the style is dis­tinc­tive.

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