Industrial Design

Ivory colored square-topped vanity table with black-lacquered lid, hinged at back, that opens to reveal mirror and two long lights; four tapered and stepped legs. Lacquered square-topped stool with tapered and stepped legs.
Bring Beauty Into Your Bathroom
Lurelle Guild was a prolific industrial designer, producing useful and beautiful objects that modernized the American home spanning from vacuum cleaners to canapé plates. Guild’s usual method was to invent or develop the new product, patent it, and then assign the patent to the manufacturer, charging a fee and royalties. In 1933 and 1934 he...
Narrow, rectilinear stapler with curved hand grips; sides decorated with overall geometric black and white enameled pattern.
Juwel for a Tool
The design for this stapler was patented in the United States in 1934 by Fridolin Polzer who was at the time working for E.H. Hotchkiss Company, a leading manufacturer of stapling machines, based in Norwalk, Connecticut. In Japanese, the word for “stapler” is “hotchikisu” after the E.H. Hotchkiss Company, which first shipped staplers to Japan...
Box camera (a) covered in brown leatherette; metal faceplate enameled with tan and brown geometric design. Camera slides into box shaped leatherette-covered case (b).
A Dandy of a Camera
A “Beau” is as a man greatly concerned with appearance. And like the word “Dandy” it is often applied to men who affect extreme elegance; who are unduly concerned with looking stylish and fashionable; and who place particular importance on leisurely pastimes. We know F. Scott Fitzgerald’s charming Jay Gatsby as a shining example of...
Circular form; smooth blue case surrounding metal band with Arabic numerals encircling white face with black hands; metal stem at top. At center: "WESTCLOX".
“An Essential Accessory”
This handbag watch, introduced in 1933 by the Westclox division of the General Time Instruments Corporation, offered the busy modern woman a portable, fashionable and discreet way to manage her time. [1] An alternative to wearing a wristwatch and about the size of a man’s pocket watch, this timepiece was large enough to be easily found...
Raised disc-shaped metallic-toned plastic body, the center pierced by six columns of small squares (speaker) above square black number and function keys.
Squaring The Circle
When Coherent Communications System Corporation decided to create this conference phone their goal was to accommodate the needs of conference calls by incorporating all the necessary telephone elements and electronics into a single, sophisticated speaker/microphone housing. For ease of use and efficiency, the engineers wanted to position the speaker in such a way that the...
Aluminum and steel streamlined meat slicer with rounded knobs.
A Slice of Design from the Local Deli
Designed more than 70 years ago, the Model 410 meat slicer, also known as the Streamliner, is not just a utilitarian object for the food service industry. It is also a wonderful example of streamlining, a style of Modernism that combines principles of aerodynamic engineering with geometry, often characterized by smooth rhythmic surfaces and forms...
Design Talks: Timothy Prestero
Design that Matters, National Design Award winner for Corporate and Institutional Achievement, is a nonprofit design company that partners with social entrepreneurs to design products that address basic needs in developing countries. Led by cofounder Timothy Prestero, over 850 academic and professional collaborators have worked together to create dozens of product concepts, including a low-cost...
An isometric view of a prefabricated sportsman's cabin with slanted shed roof. Rooms include living area with sofa and fireplace, and sleeping quarter with three beds (two are bunked). This drawing was published in published in Robert W. Marks, "Donald Deskey's Sportshack..." Esquire, vol. 14 (August, 1940), p. 69. A model of Sportshack was exhibited at the Metropolitan Museum of Art's, Contemporary Industrial Design exhibition in 1940 and life-size at the America at Home exhibition in the 1940 season of the 1939-40 New York World's Fair.
Living Modern
In 1939, the pioneering industrial designer Donald Deskey, was asked to participate in the Contemporary Industrial Arts Exhibition to be held at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in early 1940.  For his project, he designed a prefabricated weekend cabin, called “Sportshack,” depicted in this air-brush rendering. The many innovations in the house included a large...
Bill’s Design Talks: Scott Wilson
Museum director, Bill Moggridge, in conversation with industrial designer, Scott Wilson.