Google celebrates the industrial designer Raymond Loewy 1893-1986 with a new doodle today.To mark the 120th birthday of one of the fathers of industrial design, they have published a sketch of a futuristic locomotive. Loewy was born in Paris in 1893, the son of Maximilian Loewy, a Viennese journalist, and his French wife, Marie Labalme. An early accomplishment was the design of a successful model aircraft, which then won the Gordon Bennett Cup in 1908. By the following year he was selling the plane, named the Ayrel.
He served in the French army during World War I, attaining the rank of captain. Loewy was wounded in combat and received the Croix de guerre. In Loewy’s early years in the U.S., 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 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.Loewy’s father was of Jewish heritage. Loewy hired many Jewish designers fleeing Nazi Germany at his firm.
In Loewy’s fifty-year career he designed everything from furniture to cars, radios to tableware.Classic icons such as the Coca-Cola bottle and Lucky Strike cigarette pack logo as well as the Esso and Shell oil trademarks.
He once said: “the average person, leading a normal life, whether in the country, a village, a city, or a metropolis, is bound to be in daily contact with some of the things, services, or structures in which Raymond Loewy Associates was a party during the design or planning stage.”