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Raymond Loewy (pronounced /ˈl/ LOH-ee, November 5, 1893 – July 14, 1986) was a French-born American industrial designer who achieved fame for the magnitude of his design efforts across a variety of industries. He was recognized for this by Time magazine and featured on its cover on October 31, 1949.[2]

Raymond Loewy
PRR-S1-Loewy.jpg
Loewy standing on one of his designs, the Pennsylvania Railroad's S1 steam locomotive
Born (1893-11-05)November 5, 1893
Paris, France
Died July 14, 1986(1986-07-14) (aged 92)
Monte Carlo, Monaco
Cause of death Illness
Resting place Rochefort-en-Yvelines Cemetery, Rambouillet, France
Citizenship France, United States
Education University of Paris
Occupation industrial designer
Years active 1909–1980
Notable work
  • Air Force One livery
  • Coca-Cola fountain dispenser
  • Concorde interiors
  • Gestetner duplicating machine
  • Greyhound Scenicruiser bus and logo
  • JFK postage stamp
  • Lucky Strike package
  • NASA interiors for Skylab and Apollo programs
  • Rosenthal China 2000 Series
  • Sears Coldspot refrigerators
  • Streamlined locomotives for the Pennsylvania Railroad
  • Studebaker Commander and Avanti
  • Logos for Exxon, Shell, BP, International Harvester, TWA, Nabisco, Quaker, New Man, LU and the U.S. Postal Service
Spouse(s) Jean Thompson Bienfait[1]
(m. 1931–1945; divorced)
Viola Erickson
(m. 1948–1986; his death)
Children Laurence Loewy
Parent(s)
  • Maximillian Loewy
  • Marie Labalme
Website Raymondloewy.com

He spent most of his professional career in the United States, becoming a naturalized citizen in 1938. Among his designs were the Shell, Exxon, TWA and the former BP logos, the Greyhound Scenicruiser bus, Coca-Cola vending machines, the Lucky Strike package, Coldspot refrigerators, the Studebaker Avanti and Champion, and the Air Force One livery. He was involved with numerous railroad designs, including the Pennsylvania Railroad GG1 and S-1 locomotives, the color scheme and Eagle motif for the first streamliners of the Missouri Pacific Railroad and a number of lesser known color scheme and car interior designs for other railroads. His career spanned seven decades.

The press referred to Raymond Loewy as The Man Who Shaped America, The Father of Streamlining and The Father of Industrial Design.[3]

Contents

Early lifeEdit

Born in Paris in 1893, Loewy was the son of Maximilian Loewy, a Jewish journalist from Austria, and a French mother, Marie Labalme. Loewy distinguished himself early on with the design of a successful model aircraft, which then won the Gordon Bennett Cup for model airplanes in 1908.[4] By the following year, he had commercial sales of the plane, named the Ayrel.

Loewy served in the French army during World War I (1914–1918), attaining the rank of captain. He was wounded in combat and received the Croix de guerre. After the war he moved to New York, where he arrived in September 1919.

CareerEdit

Early workEdit

In Loewy's early years in the United States, he lived in New York and found work as a window designer for department stores, including Macy's, Wanamaker's and Saks in addition to working as a fashion illustrator for Vogue and Harper's Bazaar. In 1929 he received his first industrial-design commission to contemporize the appearance of a duplicating machine by Gestetner. Further commissions followed, including work for Westinghouse, the Hupp Motor Company (the Hupmobile styling), and styling the Coldspot refrigerator[5] for Sears-Roebuck. It was this product that established his reputation as an industrial designer. He opened a London office in the mid-1930s that continues to operate.[6]

Pennsylvania RailroadEdit

In 1937, Loewy established a relationship with the Pennsylvania Railroad, and his most notable designs for the firm involved some of their passenger locomotives. He designed a streamlined shroud for K4s Pacific #3768 to haul the newly redesigned 1938 Broadway Limited. He followed by styling the experimental S1 locomotive, as well as the T1 class.

Later, at the Pennsylvania Railroad's request, he restyled Baldwin's diesels with a distinctive "sharknose" reminiscent of the T1. While he did not design the famous GG1 electric locomotive, he improved its appearance with welded rather than riveted construction, and he added a pinstripe paint scheme to highlight its smooth contours.

In addition to locomotive design, Loewy's studios provided many designs for the Pennsylvania Railroad, including stations, passenger-car interiors, and advertising materials. By 1949, Loewy employed 143 designers, architects, and draftsmen. His business partners were A. Baker Barnhart, William Snaith, and John Breen.[7]

StudebakerEdit

Loewy had a long and fruitful relationship with American car maker Studebaker. Studebaker first retained Loewy and Associates and Helen Dryden as design consultants in 1936[8]:[p.247] and in 1939 Loewy began work with the principal designer Virgil Exner.[8][9] Their designs first began appearing with the late-1930s Studebakers. Loewy also designed a new logo which replaced the "turning wheel" which had been the trademark since 1912.[8]

During World War II, American government restrictions on in-house design departments at Ford, General Motors, and Chrysler prevented official work on civilian automobiles. Because Loewy's firm was independent of the fourth-largest automobile producer in America, no such restrictions applied. This permitted Studebaker to launch the first all-new postwar automobile in 1947, two years ahead of the "Big Three." His team developed an advanced design featuring flush-front fenders and clean rearward lines. The Loewy staff, headed by Exner, also created the Starlight body which featured a rear-window system wrapping 180° around the rear seat.

 
1953 Studebaker Commander Starliner hardtop
 
A concept sketch of the 1963 Avanti by Loewy
 
The 1963 Studebaker Avanti in a non-standard blue color and wheels

In addition to the iconic bullet-nosed Studebakers of 1950 and 1951, the team created the 1953 Studebaker line, highlighted by the Starliner and Starlight coupes. (Publicly credited to Loewy, they were actually the work of Robert Bourke.[10])

The Starlight has consistently ranked as one of the best-designed cars of the 1950s in lists compiled since by Collectible Automobile, Car and Driver, and Motor Trend. The '53 Starliner, recognized today as "one of the most beautiful cars ever made",[11][not specific enough to verify] was radical in appearance, as radical in its way as the 1934 Airflow. However, it was beset by production problems.[11]

To brand the new line, Loewy also contemporized Studebaker's logo again by applying the "Lazy S" element. His final commission of the 1950s for Studebaker was the transformation of the Starlight and Starliner coupes into the Hawk series for the 1956 model year. The photo to the right actually shows a Starliner hardtop which does not have the "C" pillar.

In the spring of 1961, Studebaker's new president, Sherwood Egbert, recalled Loewy to design the Avanti. Egbert hired him to help energize Studebaker's soon-to-be-released line of 1963 passenger cars to attract younger buyers.

Despite the short 40-day schedule allowed to produce a finished design and scale model, Loewy agreed to take the job. He recruited a team consisting of experienced designers, including former Loewy employees John Ebstein; Bob Andrews; and Tom Kellogg, a young student from the Art Center College of Design in Pasadena. The team was sequestered[by whom?] in a house leased for the purpose in Palm Springs, California. (Loewy also had a home in Palm Springs which he designed himself.[12]) Each team member had a role. Andrews and Kellogg handled sketching, Ebstein oversaw the project, and Loewy was the creative director and offered advice.

NASAEdit

Raymond Loewy worked for NASA from 1967 to 1973.[13] Loewy was employed as a Habitability Consultant by NASA when they designed the Skylab space station, launched in 1973.[14] One of NASA's goals in hiring him was to improve the psychology, safety, and comfort of manned spacecraft.[13]

Personal life, death and legacyEdit

Loewy retired at the age of 87 in 1980 and returned to his native France.

Loewy died in his Monte Carlo residence in 1986. He was raised in Catholic faith and upon his passing, was buried in the cemetery of a Roman Catholic church[15] of Rochefort-en-Yvelines in France,[16] a village located some 40 km southwest of Paris, where he owned the castle de la Cense. He was survived by his wife Viola, and their daughter Laurence.

FoundationEdit

In 1992 Viola and Laurence Loewy, with the support of British American Tobacco, established the Raymond Loewy Foundation in Hamburg, Germany. The foundation was established to promote the discipline of industrial design internationally and preserve the memory of Raymond Loewy. An annual award of €50,000 is granted to outstanding designers in recognition of their lifetime achievements. Notable grantees include Karl Lagerfeld, Philippe Starck and Dieter Rams.

Design Center and MuseumEdit

In 1998, Laurence Loewy established Loewy Design in Atlanta, Georgia to manage her father's continued interests in the United States. Laurence died of natural causes October 15, 2008 and is survived by her husband David Hagerman and son Jacque Loewy. David Hagerman, CEO of Loewy Design and Representative for the Estate of Raymond Loewy, manages daily activities and is directly involved in museum planning. The Loewy family's collection of archives are currently being restored, cataloged and photographed for future events and fundraisers. Fundraising efforts have begun to build the Raymond Loewy Museum of Industrial Design, a 501c3 non profit, originally envisioned by Laurence Loewy.[17]

Google doodleEdit

On November 5, 2013, Loewy was honored with a Google Doodle depicting a streamlined locomotive bearing a resemblance to the K4s Pacific #3768 shroud design, using the wheels of the train to form the word Google.[18]

 
A preserved Metro Van in 2012
 
Union News restaurants coffee shop, at the TWA Flight Center, Idlewild
 
Le Creuset French ovens
 
A Leisurama house in Montauk, New York; Leisurama houses could be purchased at Macy's department store
 
Air Force One, the livery for which was designed by Loewy in the 1960s
 
The USCG Racing Stripe logo (1964)
 
The Exxon logo, designed in 1966, introduced in 1972

Loewy designsEdit

1900s

  • Ayrel aircraft, 1909

1920s

  • Gestetner mimeograph duplicating machine shell, 1929

1930s

1940s

1950s

  • Lionel's #497 Coal Loader, 1950
  • Greyhound Lines experimental Coach GX-1 (US Patent 2,563,917), precursor to the PD-4501 Scenicruiser, 1951.
  • The International Harvester "IH" "Man on a tractor" logo, 1952.
  • Peace cigarette packaging, 1952
  • Studebaker Commander, 1953
  • Northern Pacific Railway, Vista-Dome North Coast Limited (exterior color scheme and interiors), 1954.
  • Coca-Cola Redesign of the original contour bottle, eliminating Coca-Cola embossing and adding vivid white Coke/Coca-Cola lettering, designed and introduced first king-size or slenderized bottles, that is, 10, 12, 16 and 26 oz. (1955) Later, in 1960, he designed the first Coke steel can with diamond design.
  • Rosenthal Sunburst modern china set 1956.
  • Hillman Minx automobile, Series One onward, 1956–1959.
  • Sunbeam Alpine automobile, series One onward, 1959–1967.
  • Scott-Atwater Royal Scott outboard motor made by McCulloch, 1957
  • 500-Series of Cockshutt tractors, 1958
  • Le Creuset Coquelle, 1958
  • Leisurama homes, 1959
  • Dorsett recreational boats, 1959
  • TWA Twin Globes Logo, 1959[23]

1960s

1970s

Work in years or models unknown

Published booksEdit

See alsoEdit

ReferencesEdit

Notes

  1. ^ Hagley Digital Images
  2. ^ Loewy on the cover of Time (October 31, 1949)
  3. ^ "FastFacts" on Raymondloewy.com
  4. ^ Loewy, Raylonf (2002). Never Leave Well Enough Alone. Johns Hopkins University Press. p. 28. ISBN 0-8018-7211-1. 
  5. ^ Coldspot Refrigerator
  6. ^ Loewy Group marketing agency
  7. ^ a b Staff (October 31, 1949) "Up from the Egg", Time
  8. ^ a b c Hendry, Maurice M. Studebaker: One can do a lot of remembering in South Bend. New Albany: Automobile Quarterly. pp. 228–275. Vol X, 3rd Q, 1972. 
  9. ^ Setright, L.J.K., "Loewy: When styling became industrial design", in Northey, Tom, ed. World of Automobiles (London: Orbis, 1974), Volume 11, p.1211.
  10. ^ Automotive Design Oral History – "Reminiscences of Robert E. Bourke"
  11. ^ a b Ludvigsen, p.2227[not specific enough to verify]
  12. ^ Bloch, John, director and producer: Agronsky, Martin, host, (February 23, 1958). "Look Here. Raymond Loewy". NBC Television Presents, LCCN 96-507681
  13. ^ a b Novak, Matt (October 13, 2014) "Raymond Loewy's NASA Designs Are The Space Future That Never Was" Paleofuture
  14. ^ Torchinsky, Jason (May 13, 2014) [1]"Why Skylab Was America's First And Best Home In Space"] Jalopnik
  15. ^ L’église de Rochefort et son cimetière on the official website of Rochefort-en-Yvelines.
  16. ^ "Raymond Loewy (1893–1986)" (in French). Mairie of Rochefort-en-Yvelines. Archived from the original on 22 December 2015. 
  17. ^ "Museum SIte Are Being Studied". Loewy Museum website. Retrieved 26 February 2013. 
  18. ^ "Google Doodle celebrates the 'father of industrial design' Raymond Loewy". IGN. November 5, 2013. Retrieved November 4, 2013. 
  19. ^ "Hughes' Stratoliner". Planeboats.com. Retrieved 2009-10-25. 
  20. ^ "Hallicrafters SX-42 shortwave radio made 1946 - 1947". Arsmachina.com. Archived from the original on 2005-12-31. Retrieved 2013-11-05. 
  21. ^ National Park Service (2010-07-09). "National Register Information System". National Register of Historic Places. National Park Service. 
  22. ^ Harnesberger, Douglas J. and Kraus, Nancy (July 1998). "National Register of Historic Places Inventory/Nomination: Norfolk and Western Railway Company Historic District" (PDF). Virginia Department of Historic Resources. 
  23. ^ "Designed to Travel; Curating Relics of T.W.A. As It Prepares for Departure". The New York Times. June 7, 2001. 
  24. ^ Staff. "Union News restaurants, TWA, Idlewild. Lisbon Lounge". United States Library of Congress. Retrieved 1 November 2014. 
  25. ^ American Treasures of the Library of Congress, Design drawing for Exxon logo by Raymond Loewy
  26. ^ "SPAR". Raymond Loewy Foundation. Retrieved 2009-10-25. 
  27. ^ Staff (July 2009). "Celebrate America this July with Gary Kollberg's Exhibit at the Farmington Library". Farmington, Connecticut: Farmington Library of Art. 
  28. ^ Wilson, Patrick (March 23, 2009). "What's in a name? Scope Arena, Norfolk". The Virginian Pilot. 

Further reading

  • Bayley, Stephen. The Lucky Strike Packet (Design Classics Series), Art Books International Ltd (1998) ISBN 3-931317-72-2
  • Byars, Mel. "Loewy, Raymond" in American National Biography, American Council of Learned Societies (2000)
  • Porter, Glenn. Raymond Loewy Designs for the Consumer Culture, Hagley Museum and Library (2002) ISBN 0-914650-34-3
  • Schoenberger, Angela. Raymond Loewy: Pioneer of American Industrial Design, Prestel Publishing (1991) ISBN 3-7913-1449-1
  • Trétiack, Phillippe. Raymond Loewy and Streamlined Design, New York: Universe (1999) ISBN 0-7893-0328-0

External linksEdit