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Almanac: The “Father of Streamlining”

Jan 24, 2018   //   by loewy   //   Uncategorized  //  No Comments

And now a page from our “Sunday Morning” Almanac: November 5, 1893, 124 years ago today — Day One for the man called “The Father of Streamlining.”

For that was the day Raymond Loewy was born in Paris.

An award-winning model airplane designer while still a boy, Loewy moved to the United States after World War I, and went to work.

He transformed the railroad locomotive and the Greyhound bus. He designed modern sewing machines and popcorn machines … and filled his home with his own creations…

On the CBS show “Person to Person” in 1956, Loewy explained his design philosophy: “I felt it was my duty to try to do whatever I could to introduce a little beauty among the things and the surroundings we live with.”

… a theme he expanded on in a 1979 “60 Minutes” interview with Morley Safer. “Good design,” he said, “is a design that does not get obsolete, number one, that stays classic, like a Greek statue. That’s good design.”

By then, Loewy had designed the 1962 incarnation of Air Force One, inside and out. And he designed NASA’s Skylab, just for good measure.

He transformed many a logo as well: the Post Office into the Postal Service … Esso into Exxon.

But Raymond Loewy is perhaps best remembered for the car which he designed for Studebaker in the 1960s: the Avanti. To this day, it’s one of the models most prized by collectors of classic cars.


Loewy Career Highlights

Oct 13, 2013   //   by loewy   //   Uncategorized  //  No Comments

1975 Smithsonian Institution opened The Designs of Raymond Loewy, a four-month exhibit dedicated to “the man who changed the face of industrial design.”

1972 Poll of stylists representing the Big Three automakers voted his 1953 Studebaker Starliner Coupé an “industry best.” Also named one of the most influential Americans by LIFE magazine.

1967 Began working as a habitability consultant to NASA.

1965 Joined the President’s Committee on Employment of the Handicapped.

1962 After designing the Shell logo, it becomes such a recognizable icon that Shell drops its name from their advertisements.

1961 Designed the Studebaker Avanti, holding to the motto, “weight is the enemy.”

1954 Designed the Greyhound bus.

1953 Designed the Studebaker Starliner Coupé, which the Museum of Modern Art later called a “work of art.”

1952 Founded the Compagnie de I’Esthetique Industrielle in Paris, France.

1951 Published second design textbook, Industrial Design, and his autobiography Never Leave Well Enough Alone.

1949 Appeared on the cover of TIME magazine.

1939 Redesigned the Lucky Strike cigarette packaging.

1937 Published first book, The Locomotive: Its Aesthetics.

1936 Designed the GG-1 electric locomotive for the Pennsylvania Railroad.

1934 Designed the Coldspot refrigerator for Sears Roebuck & Company.

1930 Hired as a consultant by the Hupp Motor Company.

1929 Redesigned the Gestetner mimeograph machine. Founder and art director of Raymond Loewy, William Snaith, Inc., in New York City (later established as Raymond Loewy International).

1919 Provided popular fashion illustrations for magazines such as Vogue and Harper’s Bazaar. Freelanced as a window designer for department stores, including Saks Fifth Avenue and Macy’s.