Produced in 1994, this was Bridgestone USA's second poster. Without question, this
poster - along with Bridgestone's first poster crafted in 1993 - rate among
the finest post war cycling posters made anywhere in the world.
The poster was created by English artist Christopher Wormell. To create the poster,
Mr. Wormell carved images into blocks of linoleum, cutting a different block for each color,
then printed the image by hand directly onto paper. This particular image was made from
seven linoleum blocks, each carefully printed over the next.
When Bridgestone USA closed up in 1994, we were fortunate to be able to acquire multiple
examples of this poster. The condition of the posters is excellent. They
have been stored flat and out of light since we bought them in the mid-90s.
Again, this is the original poster issued in 1994 and measures 24 x 36 inches.
Also noteworthy is the fact the poster were printed on a really high
quality paper stock, not the typical cheap thin paper found all to often with
modern posters. This poster is a wonderful time capsule!
A Brief History of Bridgestone
Bridgestone is an enormous multinational company, one of the
largest tire companies in the world...and a fairly small bicycle company,
with its own factory in Japan. In the late 1980s and early'90s, their
U.S. bicycle division was run by Grant Petersen, a brilliant, talented
and idiosyncratic designer.
Petersen, a hard-core cyclist, marched to a "different drummer"
than most of the industry. He introduced many innovations to the
market, and also strongly resisted other trends and innovations that
he didn't approve of.
There was constant tension between Bridgestone USA and the
parent company in Japan. While the bosses realized that Petersen
was a very talented designer, he was perhaps a bit too individualistic
and eccentric for the corporate culture. There were forces in Japan
that wanted to make a more mainstream bike, like everybody else.
In the give and take between the divisions, some models went one way,
others the other way.
After Bridgestone Japan pulled the plug on Bridgestone USA in
1994, Grant Petersen went on to found Rivendell Bicycles.