22 November 2022

TRAVEL: Explore this theme within the Scala Archives

Travel related content is extremely diverse in nature and seemingly endless in quantity. Within the Scala archives you can, in fact, select among travel related instruments, old maps and cartography, landscape photos and travel documentation, postcards or vintage posters, art, objects and more.

Travel related content is extremely diverse in nature and seemingly endless in quantity. Within the Scala archives you can, in fact, select among travel related instruments, old maps and cartography, landscape photos and travel documentation, postcards or vintage posters, art, objects and more.
Here are just a few examples that showcase this beloved theme, or the expeditions & instruments used by some of the most curious and tireless travelers.

Maps: tools for exploration

Since ancient times, humans relied on the ability to draw on rock or clay tablets and convey the whereabouts of certain territories, hunting grounds, villages and water sources of use to their activities and well-being. 

The birth of scientific cartography as we know it today occurred in Greece in the 5th century B.C.E. It was in Greece, as early as the 3rd century BC, that the scientist Eratosthenes first argued the sphericity of the Earth and even calculated its circumference to astounding closeness (his calculation of 46, 200 kilometers is all in all not that much greater than the modern measurement of around 40, 008 kilometers). 

The Romans created surveys and drawings to measure fields or to indicate the route of travel, while in the Middle Ages the representations of the world neglected scientific knowledge in favor of philosophical or religious conceptions. Below is a typical representation of such time and nature showing the world within a circle or surrounded by seas and rivers. 

Starting in the Middle Ages another important type of map was created and used: the nautical charts. Called “portolan” from the Italian word portolano (related to ports and harbors) these charts, thanks to the widespread use of the compass, accurately show the coastal profile and distances between ports and became an essential tool for navigation. These charts are characterized by rhumbline or windrose networks which seem like a web forming a grid on the map. 

Abraham and Jahuda Cresques, Page from the Catalan Atlas of Charles V of France, c. 1375. Parchment on wood – Bibliothèque Historique de la Ville de Paris, Paris, France

In the 16th century – thanks mainly to the two Flemish cartographers Abraham Ortelius and Gerhardus Kremer – modern geometric cartography was developed, and since then the methods of representing the Earth have been refined thanks in part to the evolution of surveying techniques. 

Discover some of the many maps drawn over the centuries by scholars, scientists and cartographers. This is just a small sample of what can be available on the subject. 

Since the twentieth century, cartography has made use of new vantage points – primarily the ability to see the Earth from above thanks to airplanes and satellites – and has thus been able to produce increasingly accurate documents.

Aerial images are not only useful for cartography but also allow us to revel in the beauty of landscapes captured from an unusual and surprising viewpoint. Check out this small selection of aerial images showing the beauty of Italy & the Vatican.

The classic journey: the Grand Tour

In the 18th century it became fashionable among the European aristocracy to send young men on the “Grand Tour” or a long journey, without defined duration, through continental Europe with the aim of perfecting their knowledge. Among the European educated class Italy became an almost imperative destination, with Rome, Florence, Naples, Venice and Sicily the most sought-after areas. The itineraries and routes that crisscrossed far and wide Italy were narrated in diaries or essays such as the well-known Journey to Italy by Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, who made his Grand Tour between 1786 and 1788. A text that was used by travelers in later decades as a veritable travel guide.

Discover more images on the Grand Tour.

Travel and tourism: posters

From the term “Grand Tour” originates the term tourism, and in general the phenomenon of today’s tourist travel. It seems that we can attribute what we today call tourism, as organized and mass travel, to one event in particular: 

On July 5, 1841, thanks to the train, English Protestant pastor Thomas Cook organized an 11 mile journey from Leicester to Loughborough, with 600 participants at a cost of one shilling each. It was such a success that it prompted Cook to set up the first travel agency: the Thomas Cook and Son. It was the start of the tourism industry as we understand it today. 

A phenomenon that has since allowed tourism to develop into an important source of income and a veritable economic engine for many areas of the world. In 2021, globally tourism generated more than 509 billion in revenue which was equal to about 40 percent of pre-pandemic levels. 

Throughout the twentieth century cities, nations, tourist resorts, but also air, rail, and shipping companies have worked in many creative ways to attract more and more tourists. 

Among the various forms of advertising the travel posters were born.

SCALA Archives has a vast repertoire of advertising iconic destinations – such as Capri, Monaco, St. Moritz, The Venice Lido, New York to mention just a few – as well as famous transportation companies. You can view just a small part in this gallery

Destination chosen? Next step: pack the suitcase!  

t’s hard to go on a trip without luggage. Trunks, suitcases, duffel bags, hat boxes, backpacks have been inseparable companions of trips of all lengths and since the beginning of time, as we can clearly see from paintings, historical photos, vintage advertising posters, and even rock carvings. 

In this gallery we have collected some of the most unique and varied suitcase-related images including artworks, historical photos, vignettes, actual objects and much more! 

Want to find out more about travel themed images? Check out our travel page or write to us and we will be happy to help you with timely research and suggestions for your project.

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The Advent Calendar from SCALA Archives

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