• Steven Heller

Ships That Pass in the Night

Notice how beautiful the logo designs below are for their simple complexity. Are they new app icons for Apple OS7? If Apple were around in the early to late 1930s and the first part of the 1940s, perhaps. In fact, these are funnel stack markings for steamship lines (or S.S. lines) that regularly were in service in the Port of New York — during so-called “normal times.” During these times, however, the early stages of a world war was raging abroad and some passenger and cargo ship services were temporarily suspended.

Most of these funnel logos, like the water front piers where they once berthed, are long gone, replaced by Carnival Cruise and other massive floating city lines, with markings that more resemble party balloon ornaments than shipping businesses. Still, if I didn’t know better, I’d say the new generation of flat smart phone icons owe a debit to these vintage beauties. But that’s impossible . . . or is it?

(Thanks to Jeff Roth for uncovering them.)

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