Friday, November 26, 2010

Raymond Loewy 3

By the late 40's Loewy employed over 140 people and ran a giant design firm executing designs for major clients across the country. In 1949 Loewy appeared on the cover of Time magazine, he was a culture hero. Above is his redesign ( and streamlining ) of the Coca-Cola bottle, and below the machine from which it was sold. Those rounded shoulders showed up on refrigerators and lots of other things in that era. Loewy's designs were often a "treatment" they all have a lot in common, the rounded off corners and the bulked up all steel look. This stuff was built to last and it was of high quality, little built today is made as well.

Here is a happy housewife in an all steel kitchen, I had these cabinets in apartments. Never had her in my apartment though. Think she was a friend of my mom's. I wish she'd put her arms down.

Below is one of the many radios that Loewy designed, this one is an Emerson. You could listen to Monitor radio, or maybe Clyde Clifford doing Beaker street out of Little Rock.

Here is a toaster, wish I had that. That black plastic handle and its base were made of Bakelite
( polyoxybenzylmethylenglycolanhydride) an early thermosetting plastic that is little used today. I think someday soon I may do a post called, "Great Plastics of the Past".

I did have this refrigerator. In the 70's this stuff moved into the apartments I rented. These refrigerators ran for ever, this one is still running , maybe in a landfill somewhere .

Tomorrow night, the final post on Ray, cars! Here comes the Avanti!


HKP said...

What a beauty, that refrigerator. What I don't miss is the frost 4" thick (and growing fast!) on the inside.

Mary Byrom said...

Surface design is designing prints or patterns for textiles.

billspaintingmn said...

That toaster looks cool! I've heard form should follow function. I can imagine the toast popping up in that. (Almost a cartoon)
I had a stainless steel purculator
coffee pot that looked proud to make coffee. Wish I knew where it was.

Bob Carter said...

I'm sure it's just nostalgia, but these designs seem to me to be artufacts of a more optimistic and confident time. Wish we could get that back. That's not to say that there isn't good design going on today. Most of the Apple products show an eye for a kind of cool and minimalist design. But there does, indeed, seem to be a lot of ugly out there. Great series of posts, Stape.

Barbara said...

This a great series of posts. I'm often drawn to the visual appeal of functional stuff, yet rarely think of the design and designer behind it.

Stapleton Kearns said...

I killed one of those refrigerators defrosting it. I cut into a coil in the freezer scraping at it. Some gas escaped and made me sick. I thought I would die. I didn't.

Stapleton Kearns said...

OK I get it.

Stapleton Kearns said...

I had one of those too, it was a Hamilton Beach.I believe they still make those, but they are expensive.

Stapleton Kearns said...

I knew that polyoxybenzylmethylenglycolanhydride) would bring you out of your lair. I thought of you when I mentioned that.

Stapleton Kearns said...