The railway industry was the biggest commissioner of illustrated posters. They typically promoted its vast network that kept expanding over the course of the century resulting in thousands of stations, each with a destination in need of promotion. From the Puy Mary in the Mount of Cantal to the suburbs of Baghdad, dozens of railway companies were fighting to pack their carriages with keen travelers. In France the PLM (Paris-Lyon-Mediterranean), the Paris-Orléans which acquired the Midi line to become the PO-Midi, the Eastern, Western and Northern Railway Companies and the International Sleeping-Car company competed for half a century to get a share of France’s growing trainline market. The pioneering studios of François Hugo d’Alési hosted artists such as Julien Lacaze, Constant Duval, Roger Broders, Pierre Commarmond, Paul Emile Champeix, Charles Hallo (Alo) advertised the charms of the French terroir one train station at a time until almost every town had their own poster. During the 1920s, the art-deco movement was reflected in the style of many posters of this time with purple shadows, sun-kissed red, orange and tawny colours being fashionable. The Japanese influence of Henri Rivière became the signature of the Brittany school. Every train station in France was an opportunity for companies to compete through the successive spring/summer and autumn/winter campaigns. Waiting rooms, platform shelters and halls were all fitted with standardised poster billboards for which the French state collected taxes under the 1881 law that regulated the right to post and advertise. Everyone could now enjoy the pleasure of 1st, 2nd and 3rd class comfort for the price of a ticket. In the 1890s, posters sung the praise of spending winter in Nice, Biarritz or the Bay of Arcachon. Spas and mountain resorts became national landmarks in a time that encouraged hedonistic pastimes as a way of life. Brittany was now a train ride away and Brest, which was previously only accessible by stagecoach, was now connected by the western railway company. The French terroir was now for all to see and enjoy, with its charming towns, bustling cities and picturesque villages, the racing tracks of the Gulf of Morbihan or the Saint-Malo city ramparts. At the turn of the century the whole of France was seemingly invited overnight to visit the beaches of Trestrignel and Dinard. Fix Masseau and Joseph de la Nézière were illustrating an even more exotic dream, the Orient-Express that would take you to Mesopotamia and the Middle-East. Palestine, Egypt, Syria, Lebanon and Libya were now but a train-ride away or could be reached with a boat-and-train end-to-end ticket. The exotic East was now on Europe’s doorstep, with countries better known for their flowers and honey, archeological wonders, ancient history, sciences and mysterious tales were expertly invoked by artists such as d'Aboville, known as Dabo, the British Augustus Osborne Lamplough who painted the Nile in Aswan or the Pyramids on the Giza Plateau. Japan was also regularly portrayed with its countryside and modern railways at a time when posters were also widely used for diplomatic purposes. Propaganda was never far away.