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Birthday Today: Raymond Loewy, “Father of Industrial Design”

November 5th, 2013 Comments off

A regular feature on Google’s search engine page, Google Doodles celebrates anniversaries, occasions and events.

Today honors the birth in France on Nov. 5, 1893 of Raymond Loewy, designer of everything from automobiles to Coca-Cola vending machines to cigarette packaging to the Greyhound Scenicruiser, as well as logos for Shell, Exxon and TWA, prefabricated homes, farm machinery, spacecraft interiors, and the Coldspot refrigerator for Sears. He designed numerous locomotives for the Pennsylvania Railroad as well as fixtures in the stations. His company built the “Typical American House,” which was displayed at the American National Exhibition in Moscow in 1959 and served as the backdrop for the famous ‘Kitchen Debate’ between then Vice President Richard Nixon and Soviet Premier Nikita Khrushchev, discussing the merits of capitalism versus socialism. This house was the model from which Loewy’s Leisurama series of prefab homes was designed and were sold through Macy’s Department stores in the mid 1960′s. The homes were 730 square feet to 1,200 in size and included all the appliances, furniture and housewares for $13,000 to $17,000. Two hundred of the homes were built in Montauk, New York in 1963 and 1964 and another development was built near Fort Lauderdale in Florida. Called the “Father of Industrial Design,” he died in 1986 at the age of 92. His office still operates in London, as MHProNews has learned from Wikipedia.

(Image/photo credit: Top–Raymond Loewy locomotive design with the wheels spelling ‘Google,’ mirror.co.uk; bottom, Leisurama prefab home in Montauk, NY, Wikipdeia)