Industrial design is not one of my areas of expertise. But even if you're like me, you've probably heard of the name Raymond Loewy. Loewy was considered to be one of the most prominent industrial designers ever. In fact, I'm sure you've seen many of his designs: the Lucky Strike cigarette logo and package; the Greyhound bus and logo; and numerous refrigerators, ranges, and cars. He was also responsible for the design of numerous retail and commercial interiors, including this bake shop (at top). The man was truly prolific.
Loewy was a major proponent of streamlined design (as is evidenced by the bake shop and his iconic pencil sharpener, seen below, from 1934). So much so, in fact, that in the early 1930s Loewy created a series of evolution charts which showed how everyday objects had become more streamlined through the years. I hate to describe these charts as charming because it's a fluffy word to use in association with industrial design. Still, I did find these charts charming. In this era of everything being supersized, streamlined design is a breath of fresh air.
Loewy's famous pencil sharpener.
The evolution of chairs. Loewy would have been dismayed, I believe, to see those grossly oversized upholstered chairs and sofas that have been popular over the last twenty years.
The evolution of clocks. I still have a weakness for streamlined clocks.
The bathing suit. The big question mark? I suppose that ended up being the thong bikini!
The telephone. Just look at how streamlined our cell phones are.
Women's clothing. Thank goodness for streamlining here. That atrocity of 1980s fashion- the pouf skirt- was simply a hiccup along the way.
Stemware. Nothing beats a sleek champagne flute.
(All images from Depression Modern: The Thirties Style in America.)