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Singer Industrial Design Collection

Creator:
Singer Manufacturing Company  Search this
Singer Company (The), (Fairfield, New Jersey)  Search this
Names:
I.M. Singer & Company (Location of Meeting--New York, New York; )  Search this
Clark, Edward, 1850s-1860s  Search this
Singer, Isaac Merrit, fl. 1850s-1860s  Search this
Extent:
11 Cubic feet (3 oversize folders, 20 boxes)
Type:
Collection descriptions
Archival materials
Design drawings
Date:
1927-1983
bulk 1960-1977
Summary:
The bulk of the collection consists of renderings of sewing machines and related products by industrial designers such as Henry Dreyfuss, Robert P. Gersin, Eliot Noyes, and Malcolm S. Park; by designers of Singer's in-house design department; and by consultants to the firm. Materials include decals, photographs, negatives, patents, and renderings and sketches. This collection documents the influence of industrial design on Singer sewing machines as well as other household products such as vacuum cleaners.
Scope and Contents:
The bulk of the collection consists of drawings by industrial designers such as Henry Dreyfuss, Robert P. Gersin, Eliot Noyes, and Malcolm Park; by designers of Singer's in-house design department; and by consultants to the firm. These materials show the influence of industrial design on Singer machines.

Series 1, Photographs, 1927-1979, is divided into three subseries: Subseries 1, Editorial Department, 1927-1979; Subseries 2, Competitors, undated; and Subseries 3, Miscellaneous, 1977 and undated.

Subseries 1, Editorial Department, 1927-1979, consists of camera-ready art presumably for catalogs and advertising created by the editorial department at Singer Manufacturing. The photographs are black-and-white (8" x 10") and depict "cut away" views of the internal workings of Singer sewing machines before the casing was put on the machine. When the machines are not Singer, it is noted. The model number is provided, and the photographs are arranged chronologically.

Subseries 2, Competitors, undated, consists of images depicting mostly competitor sewing machines that are mounted on pages with captions. The images are black-and-white (2" x 2") and include companies such as Adler, Bernina, Elgin, Juki, Meister, Necchi, Sewmaid, Veritas, and Zundapp. The series is arranged alphabetically by manufacturer name.

Subseries 3, Miscellaneous, 1977 and undated, consists of black-and-white and color photographs (8" x 10" or smaller) for the 560 machine and a sewing cabinet.

Series 2, Decalcomania, undated, consists of one album of decal samples and loose decal/transfer cards created for Singer sewing machines and other sewing machine companies. Decalcomania is a decorative technique by which engravings and prints are transferred to other materials, such as the body of a sewing machine. Today, the use of the word "decal" is more widely used.

Some of the decals are on tracing paper, tin, and poster board. Some are in color with floral designs, and the size and style of font vary. Other decals include patent marks, the name "Singer Manufacturing Company," "Singer," oil level, and there are custom decals for specific sewing machine companies such as the Camel Sewing Machine Company, Ltd.

The decals are arranged numerically by transfer numbers, and there are two distinct groups of decal design/transfer cards. One group is numbered 63 to 141 (not inclusive) with the majority of the designs in color; the other set of decal cards is arranged in an unbound portfolio book numbered 1 to 41. Many of the decal/transfer cards have additional information about which machine or class of machines the transfer was designed for. For example, transfer #316 was used for the 99-13 machine. Machine 99-13 is also labeled with a sticker titled "SD-37." Presumably this indicates that the decal was Singer design number 37. If a decal was cancelled this is noted with a date.

Series 3, Industrial Designers' Materials, 1936-1983, consists of industrial designers and is divided into twelve subseries: Subseries 1, Henry Dreyfuss Associates, 1964-1978; Subseries 2, Robert P. Gersin Associates, Inc., 1980-1983; Subseries 3, Industrial Design Group and Industrial Design Laboratory, 1970-1975; Subseries 4, Innovations and Development, Inc., circa 1977-1979; Subseries 5, Leo Jiranek, circa 1960-1964; Subseries 6, Monte L. Levin, 1961-1962; Subseries 7, Mezey Macowski, 1967-1969; Subseries 8, Eliot Noyes, 1969, 1978; Subseries 9, Malcolm S. Park, 1936-1978; Subseries 10, Schmitz, 1973; Subseries 11, Eric Schneider, 1980. The series is arranged alphabetically.

Subseries 1, Henry Dreyfuss Associates, 1964-1978, consists of storyboards and renderings (20" x 25" or smaller) in ink, colored pencils and crayon for sewing machines and sewing machine carrying cases. Many of the renderings are preliminary. The subseries is arranged sequentially by assigned drawings numbers designated "D." Drawing D18 is heavily annotated on the reverse side

Subseries 2, Robert P. Gersin Associates, Inc., 1980-1983, consists of twenty drawings mounted on foam core board for various sewing machine concepts from 1980-1983. Many of the drawings depict side and front elevations. Gersin (1929-1989) was an award-winning industrial designer. He founded Robert P. Gersin Associates, Inc., in 1959 and worked on a wide range of designs, including interiors, products and corporate identity programs. In 1984 the company designed the logotype and corporate identity program for Sears, Roebuck & Company, and in 1988 it designed the interior for Casual Corner stores.

Subseries 3, Industrial Design Group and Industrial Design Laboratory, 1970-1975, consists of renderings ( 20 1/2" x 26") and storyboards (15" x 20") created by the the Singer Technical Center in Elizabeth, New Jersey. The majority of the work is stamped with "Industrial Design Group" or "Industrial Design Laboratory." The storyboards consist of color photographs mounted to poster board and depict a variety of sewing machines, a hand stitcher, and electric pinking scissors. The majority of renderings are not attributed to a specific designer, but some were drawn by designer W. Current.

Subseries 4, Innovations and Development, Inc., circa 1977-1979, consists of renderings created by consultants to Singer Manufacturing of Fort Lee, New Jersey. The renderings are ink on tracing paper (19" x 24") and they are not numbered or dated.

Subseries 5, Leo Jiranek, circa 1960-1964, consists of three drawings (19 1/2" x 24") for a 1964 World's Fair house and World's Fair chair. Jiranek (1900-1990) was born in Grand Rapids, Michigan. He graduated from Princeton University in 1922 and went to work for Turner Construction Company. In 1924 he took over his father's furniture design business. Considered by many to be the "Dean of Furniture Designers," one of the industry's first freelancers, he contributed to more furniture companies than any other designer, including Magnavox, Thomasville, Ethan Allen, Kroehler, Haywood Wakefield, The Lane Co., Bassett, Broyhill and Garrison. In the 1960s, Jiranek founded and was president of the Jiranek School of Furniture Design and Technology in New York City.

Subseries 6, Monte L. Levin, 1961-1962, was an industrial designer who founded Monte Levin Associates in 1945. The renderings (18 1/2" x 22" or smaller) are ink on tracing paper and depict Singer sewing machine cases.

Subseries 7, Mezey Macowski, 1967-1969, consists of seven (14" x 16 1/2") ink- colored drawings depicting a sewing table.

Subseries 8, Eliot Noyes, 1969, 1978, consists of two colored ink on vellum renderings of electric scissors. Noyes (1910-1977) was an American architect and industrial designer who worked on projects for IBM. The renderings for Singer sewing machines (A-E) were done by Gordon Bruce while at Eliot Noyes Industrial Design, Inc.

Subseries 9, Malcolm S. Park, 1936-1978, consists of a 130-page portfolio depicting Park's (1905-1991)work as an industrial designer for Singer Manufacturing Company. The pages are 13" x 16" and materials are mounted on the pages with captions. In some instances, materials have come loose. The types of materials include, patents, patent drawings, ephemera, correspondence, renderings, advertising, photographs for sewing machines, sewing machine cabinets, irons, buttonholers, vacuum cleaners, floor polishers, timers, clocks, and stitching attachments.

Subseries 10, Schmitz, 1973, consists of one drawing (17 1/2" x 21") for a portable sewing machine called the Easy Egg.

Subseries 11, Eric Schneider, 1980, consists of six ink on tracing papers renderings (17" x 23") for sewing machines.

Subseries 12, Unknown Designers, undated, consists of two renderings (18" x 23") for sewing machines with parts labeled in German and renderings (12" x 16") depicting views of sewing systems, household items, and storage systems. Some of the items include sewing machines, vacuums, cash registers, canisters, intercoms, alarms, and fire and smoke detectors.

Series 4, Design Patents, 1936-1980, is divided into four subseries: Subseries 1, United States Design Patents, 1936-1980; and Subseries 2, Foreign Design Patents, 1961-1968. Design patents may be granted to anyone who invents a new, original, and ornamental design for an article of manufacture.

Subseries 1, United States Design Patents, 1936-1980 consists of design patents that were assigned to the Singer Manufacturing Company by the inventors, Adam Baker Barnhart, Herbert S. Barnhart, Henry Dreyfuss, Christian Julian Felix, Russell A. Fritts, Donald M. Genaro, Hans Hacklander, Lloyd G. Kent, Jr., Monte L. Levin, Abbot Lutz, Michael McCann, L.C. Marsac, Charles F. Neagle, Malcolm S. Park, W. J. Peets, Robert E. Redman, Edgar P. Turner, Julian U. Von der Lancken, Tobin Wolf, Thaddeus J. Zylbert.

The majority of the patents are in patent jackets which were maintained by the Singer Manufacturing Company Patent Department. Patent jackets or patent folders are typically pre-printed with standard information such as patent number, actions, references, assignment, application serial number, and fee paid. This permitted easier documentation for the patent department. The jackets contain correspondence with the United States Patent and Trademark Office, foreign patent and trademark offices, as well as the inventor/designer, company attorneys and other company officials; drawings; photographs; newspaper clippings, and a sample of embroidery stitching. The three-way folders (10" x 15") are designed to house all of the legal documentation about the patenting process. In some instances, patents were abandoned, and this is noted. Additional file jackets include those for foreign applications and patents corresponding with United States application serial numbers. These pre-printed jackets contain the names of countries (such as Great Britain, Brazil, Italy, Japan and Sweden) where Singer Manufacturing was filing for design protection.

The majority of the design patents are for sewing machines and sewing machine cases, but there are some designs for vacuum cleaners, electric scissors, an embroidery attachment, a floor polishing machine, a display stand for needles, and a statuette. For example, the statuette was used as an award in the Singer World Stylemaker Contest and was intended to represent anyone that a person desires as well as signifying the craft of home sewing with an unrolled bolt of cloth draped around the statuette. The United States Design Patents are arranged numerically by design patent number, and the foreign design patents are arranged alphabetically by country, then numerically by patent number.

Subseries 2, Foreign, 1961-1968, consists of foreign design patents from the Congo, England, France and Italy.

Series 5, Utility Patents for Henry Dreyfuss, 1961-1965, is divided into two subseries, Subseries 1, United States Utility Patents, 1964-1965 and Subseries 2, Foreign Utility Patents, 1961-1964. Utility patents are granted to anyone who invents or discovers any new, useful, and non-obvious process, machine, article of manufacture, or composition of matter, or any new and useful improvement thereof. The United States and foreign utility patents are issued to industrial designer Henry Dreyfuss.

Series 6, Posters, 1985, consists of two posters from the National Museum of American History's exhibit titled "Industrial Design, An American Case History." The exhibit ran from July 24, 1985 to September 30, 1985.

Series 7, Miscellaneous, 1980, consists of a North Atlantic Consumer Products Group Research and Development Department report about the combination carrying case for 400/500K and 250/362m Series flat bed machines. The report contains project specifications and photographs.
Arrangement:
The collections is divided into seven series.

Series 1, Photographs, 1927-1979

Subseries 1, Editorial Department, 1927-1979

Subseries 2, Competitors, undated

Subseries 3, Miscellaneous, 1977 and undated

Series 2, Decalcomania, undated

Series 3, Industrial Designers' Materials, 1936-1983

Subseries 1, Henry Dreyfuss Associates, 1962-1978

Subseries 2, Robert P. Gersin Associates, Inc., 1980-1983

Subseries 3, Industrial Design Group and Industrial Laboratory, 1970-1975

Subseries 4, Innovations and Development, Inc., circa 1977-1979

Subseries 5, Leo Jiranek, circa 1960-1964

Subseries 6, Monte L. Levin, 1961-1962

Subseries 7, Mezey Macowski, 1967-1969

Subseries 8, Eliot Noyes, 1969, 1978

Subseries 9, Malcom S. Park, 1936-1978

Subseries 10, Schmitz, 1973

Subseries 11, Eric Schneider, 1980

Subseries 12, Unknown designers, undated

Series 4, Design Patents, 1936-1980

Subseries 1, United States Design Patents, 1936-1980

Subseries 2, Foreign Design Patents, 1961-1968

Series 5, Utility Patents for Henry Dreyfuss, 1961-1965

Subseries 1, United States Utility Patents, 1964-1965

Subseries 2, Foreign Utility Patents, 1961-1964

Series 6, Posters, 1985

Series 7, Miscellaneous, 1970
Biographical / Historical:
In 1851, I.M. Singer and Company, with headquarters in New York, was founded by inventor Isaac Merrit Singer and businessman/lawyer Edward Clark. In 1863 the business was incorporated as the Singer Manufacturing Company. After 1867 the company became the dominant firm in the industry despite the fact that it sold more expensive products than any of its competitors. Business expanded in the United States and abroad while designers focused their efforts on making mechanical improvements in the machines in the last half of the nineteenth century. America's industrial design profession emerged during the Great Depression and began to influence the design of the sewing machine. Many compnaies mass-produced technological goods and designers began to play a crucial role in American industry. After the Stock Market crash of 1929 and during the Great Depression, goods were made to look more attractive and increase sales. Many firms, such as Singer Manufacturing Company, employed industrial designers as consultants. Other industrial designers established their own firms and agencies.
Related Materials:
Materials in the Archives Center, National Museum of American History

Warshaw Collection of Business Americana, Sewing Machines (AC0060)

Landor Design Collection, circa 1930-1994 (AC0500)

Francis M. Mair Papers, circa 1938-1990 (AC0548)

Freda Diamond Collection, 1945-1984 (AC0616)

Lucian Bernhard Advertising Art Collection, 1920s-2000 (AC1161)

Materials in Other Organizations

Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution

Belle Kogan papers, 1920-1986

Philip McConnell typescripts, [circa 1957]

Arthur J. Pulos papers, 1935-[circa 1980s] (bulk 1947-1960)

Oral history interview with Arthur J. Pulos, 1980 July 31-1982 December 5

Oral history interview with Wendell Castle, 1981 June 3-December 12

Smithsonian Institution Archives

Singer Sewing Machine Advertising Leaflets, Smithsonian and Washington, D.C., Images, undated (SIA Acc. 99-056)

Cooper Hewitt Museum, Smithsonian Institution

Henry Dreyfuss Collection, 1927-1972

Hagely Museum and Archives

Singer Company Records, 1860-1985

The Newberry Library, Roger and Julie Baskes Department of Special Collections

Singer Manufacturing Company Records, 1861-1871

Wisconsin Historical Society

Singer Manufacturing Company Records, 1850-circa 1975
Provenance:
The Singer Company of Fairfield, New Jersey donated the collection on July 17, 1985.
Restrictions:
The collection is open for research.
Rights:
Collection items available for reproduction, but the Archives Center makes no guarantees concerning intellectual property rights. Archives Center cost-recovery and use fees may apply when requesting reproductions.
Topic:
Industrial design -- 1927-1983  Search this
Genre/Form:
Design drawings -- 20th century
Citation:
Singer Industrial Design Collection, 1927-1983, Archives Center, National Museum of American History.
Identifier:
NMAH.AC.0169
See more items in:
Singer Industrial Design Collection
Archival Repository:
Archives Center, National Museum of American History
GUID:
https://n2t.net/ark:/65665/ep8746852c1-7f0c-477b-beaa-54007e75e98a
EDAN-URL:
ead_collection:sova-nmah-ac-0169
Online Media:

World Design: International Conference of the Industrial Designers Society of America

Collection Creator:
Landor Associates  Search this
Landor, Walter  Search this
Container:
Box 76, Folder 7
Type:
Archival materials
Date:
1992
Collection Restrictions:
Collection is open for research.
Collection Rights:
Collection items available for reproduction, but the Archives Center makes no guarantees concerning copyright restrictions. Other intellectual property rights may apply. Archives Center cost-recovery and use fees may apply when requesting reproductions.
Collection Citation:
Landor Design Collection, circa 1862-2002, Archives Center, National Museum of American History.
See more items in:
Landor Design Collection
Landor Design Collection / Series 2: Walter Landor Papers / 2.1: Papers
Archival Repository:
Archives Center, National Museum of American History
GUID:
https://n2t.net/ark:/65665/ep8fc04f6d2-b3e5-4fb5-8ea5-b99280a7dd21
EDAN-URL:
ead_component:sova-nmah-ac-0500-ref1390

Human factors and industrial design in consumer products

Author:
Poydar, Henry R  Search this
Human Factors Society Consumer Products Technical Interest Group  Search this
Industrial Designers Society of America  Search this
Tufts University Department of Engineering Design  Search this
Physical description:
viii, 477 p. : ill. ; 28 cm
Type:
Congresses
Date:
1980
Topic:
Industrial design  Search this
Human engineering  Search this
Commercial products  Search this
Call number:
TS171.A1 P96 1980
TS171.A1P96 1980
Data Source:
Smithsonian Libraries
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:siris_sil_440978

John Vassos Papers, 1915-1989

Creator:
Vassos, John, 1898-1985  Search this
Subject:
Second, George  Search this
Byard, Dorothy  Search this
Vassos, Ruth  Search this
Sanders, Bernard  Search this
Radio Corporation of America.  Search this
Prudential Lines, Inc.  Search this
Perey Manufacturing Company  Search this
Packard Motor Car Company  Search this
Savage Arms Corporation  Search this
General Electric Company  Search this
Remington Arms Company  Search this
Matthias Hohner AG  Search this
Kuljian Corporation  Search this
Industrial Designers Society of America  Search this
Silvermine Guild of Artists  Search this
Type:
Interviews
Paintings
Photographs
Screen prints
Transcripts
Design drawings
Scrapbooks
Sketches
Slides (photographs)
Citation:
John Vassos Papers, 1915-1989. Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.
Topic:
World War, 1939-1945  Search this
Theaters -- Designs and plans  Search this
Authors -- Connecticut  Search this
Theaters -- Decoration  Search this
Muralists -- Connecticut  Search this
Illustrators -- Connecticut  Search this
Theme:
Architecture & Design  Search this
Lives of artists  Search this
Record number:
(DSI-AAA_CollID)9640
(DSI-AAA_SIRISBib)211848
AAA_collcode_vassjohn
Theme:
Architecture & Design
Lives of artists
Data Source:
Archives of American Art
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:AAADCD_coll_211848
Online Media:

Industrial Designers Society of America (ID)

Collection Creator:
Landor Associates  Search this
Landor, Walter  Search this
Container:
Box 48, Folder 6
Type:
Archival materials
Date:
1976
Collection Restrictions:
Collection is open for research.
Collection Rights:
Collection items available for reproduction, but the Archives Center makes no guarantees concerning copyright restrictions. Other intellectual property rights may apply. Archives Center cost-recovery and use fees may apply when requesting reproductions.
Collection Citation:
Landor Design Collection, circa 1862-2002, Archives Center, National Museum of American History.
See more items in:
Landor Design Collection
Landor Design Collection / Series 1: Landor Associates Business Records / 1.12: Conventions, Seminars, and Conferences
Archival Repository:
Archives Center, National Museum of American History
GUID:
https://n2t.net/ark:/65665/ep8c3eaf07c-652c-4219-a2cd-b3ef0c455c02
EDAN-URL:
ead_component:sova-nmah-ac-0500-ref941

Henry Dreyfuss Archive

Designer:
Henry Dreyfuss, American, 1904–1972  Search this
Medium:
Clippings, letters, pamphlets and drawings
Type:
archive
Photograph
Object Name:
Photograph
Credit Line:
Gift of Industrial Designers Society of America
Accession Number:
2000-11-1
Restrictions & Rights:
Usage conditions apply
See more items in:
Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum Collection
Archives Department
Data Source:
Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum
GUID:
http://n2t.net/ark:/65665/kq42ca34ab0-a0b2-4b1a-9424-858b78ef64a7
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:chndm_2000-11-1
Online Media:

Design for a Metal Wall Mounted Cup Holder

Designer:
Henry Dreyfuss, American, 1904–1972  Search this
For:
Washburn Company, Worcester, Massachusetts, American, 1880 - 1975  Search this
Medium:
Graphite, blue crayon on tracing paper
Dimensions:
28.5 x 22.2cm (11 1/4 x 8 3/4in.)
Type:
industrial design
Drawing
Object Name:
Drawing
Made in:
USA
Date:
September 6, 1934
Credit Line:
Gift of Industrial Designers Society of America
Accession Number:
2000-11-2
Restrictions & Rights:
Usage conditions apply
See more items in:
Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum Collection
Drawings, Prints, and Graphic Design Department
Data Source:
Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum
GUID:
http://n2t.net/ark:/65665/kq47f475d7f-e671-4ff7-9595-2268b9cbf16b
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:chndm_2000-11-2
Online Media:

Design for Metal Wall Mounted Toothbrush Holder

Designer:
Henry Dreyfuss, American, 1904–1972  Search this
For:
Washburn Company, Worcester, Massachusetts, American, 1880 - 1975  Search this
Medium:
Graphite, yellow crayon on tracing paper
Dimensions:
28.5 x 22 cm (11 1/4 x 8 11/16 in. )
Type:
industrial design
Drawing
Object Name:
Drawing
Made in:
USA
Date:
September 11, 1934
Credit Line:
Gift of Industrial Designers Society of America
Accession Number:
2000-11-3
Restrictions & Rights:
Usage conditions apply
See more items in:
Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum Collection
Drawings, Prints, and Graphic Design Department
Data Source:
Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum
GUID:
http://n2t.net/ark:/65665/kq4acb6b363-1fc1-4118-8933-59036fca52a2
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:chndm_2000-11-3
Online Media:

Design for Metal Soap Dish

Designer:
Henry Dreyfuss, American, 1904–1972  Search this
For:
Washburn Company, Worcester, Massachusetts, American, 1880 - 1975  Search this
Medium:
Graphite, orange-red crayon on tracing paper
Dimensions:
28.7 x 20.6 cm (11 5/16 x 8 1/8 in. )
Type:
industrial design
Drawing
Object Name:
Drawing
Made in:
USA
Date:
September 6, 1934
Credit Line:
Gift of Industrial Designers Society of America
Accession Number:
2000-11-4
Restrictions & Rights:
Usage conditions apply
See more items in:
Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum Collection
Drawings, Prints, and Graphic Design Department
Data Source:
Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum
GUID:
http://n2t.net/ark:/65665/kq46f75fe46-79af-4c99-a77b-6df8018baa1d
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:chndm_2000-11-4
Online Media:

Design for a Metal Wall Mounted Soap Dish

Designer:
Henry Dreyfuss, American, 1904–1972  Search this
For:
Washburn Company, Worcester, Massachusetts, American, 1880 - 1975  Search this
Medium:
Graphite, blue crayon on tracing paper
Dimensions:
28.5 x 22.2 cm (11 1/4 x 8 3/4 in. )
Type:
industrial design
Drawing
Object Name:
Drawing
Made in:
USA
Date:
September 6, 1934
Credit Line:
Gift of Industrial Designers Society of America
Accession Number:
2000-11-5
Restrictions & Rights:
Usage conditions apply
See more items in:
Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum Collection
Drawings, Prints, and Graphic Design Department
Data Source:
Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum
GUID:
http://n2t.net/ark:/65665/kq49ed6750a-e6ef-4668-91fd-a0dcde99d6eb
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:chndm_2000-11-5
Online Media:

Two Sketches of Wall Mounted Soap Dishes

Designer:
Henry Dreyfuss, American, 1904–1972  Search this
For:
Washburn Company, Worcester, Massachusetts, American, 1880 - 1975  Search this
Medium:
Graphite on tracing paper
Dimensions:
33.3 x 42.8 cm (13 1/8 x 16 7/8 in. )
Type:
industrial design
Drawing
Object Name:
Drawing
Made in:
USA
Date:
January 23, 1939
Credit Line:
Gift of Industrial Designers Society of America
Accession Number:
2000-11-6
Restrictions & Rights:
Usage conditions apply
See more items in:
Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum Collection
Drawings, Prints, and Graphic Design Department
Data Source:
Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum
GUID:
http://n2t.net/ark:/65665/kq4fa7dfb2c-c256-4036-8c19-bd1400fb4c11
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:chndm_2000-11-6
Online Media:

Suggested Decorations for Implement Handles, for the Washburn Company

Designer:
Henry Dreyfuss, American, 1904–1972  Search this
Manufacturer:
Washburn Company, Worcester, Massachusetts, American, 1880 - 1975  Search this
Medium:
Graphite, yellow, red crayon on tracing paper
Dimensions:
H x W x D: 35.9 x 29.2cm (14 1/8 x 11 1/2in.)
Mount: 36.7 × 30.5 cm (14 7/16 in. × 12 in.)
Mat: 55.9 × 40.6 cm (22 × 16 in.)
Type:
industrial design
Drawing
Object Name:
Drawing
Made in:
USA
Date:
June 28, 1935
Credit Line:
Gift of Industrial Designers Society of America
Accession Number:
2000-11-7
Restrictions & Rights:
Usage conditions apply
See more items in:
Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum Collection
Drawings, Prints, and Graphic Design Department
Data Source:
Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum
GUID:
http://n2t.net/ark:/65665/kq425c113de-b2c7-4a2f-b0ee-dccf8eeacaf6
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:chndm_2000-11-7
Online Media:

Oversize 8: Industrial Designers Society of America Gavel, President

Designer:
Henry Dreyfuss, American, 1904–1972  Search this
Medium:
B&W Wooden Object, Printed Material
Type:
archive
Archive folder
Object Name:
Archive folder
Date:
1965
Credit Line:
Henry Dreyfuss Archive, gift of Various Donors
Accession Number:
Dreyfuss Oversize Folder 008
Restrictions & Rights:
Usage conditions apply
See more items in:
Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum Collection
Archives Department
Data Source:
Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum
GUID:
http://n2t.net/ark:/65665/kq41a880d57-02ce-41c9-9ab7-8eacee16a95d
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:chndm_Dreyfuss_Oversize_Folder_008

National Endowment for the Humanities (Grant Proposal)

Designer:
Henry Dreyfuss, American, 1904–1972  Search this
Medium:
B&W Printed Material
Type:
archive
Archive folder
Object Name:
Archive folder
Date:
11/6/1968
Credit Line:
Henry Dreyfuss Archive, gift of Various Donors
Accession Number:
Dreyfuss Symbol Sourcebook Working Papers Folder 090
Restrictions & Rights:
Usage conditions apply
See more items in:
Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum Collection
Archives Department
Data Source:
Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum
GUID:
http://n2t.net/ark:/65665/kq4fa085189-580e-42a4-b078-4e3be1386469
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:chndm_Dreyfuss_Symbol_Sourcebook_Working_Papers_Folder_090

Industrial Designers Society of America [Folder]

Additional name:
IDSA  Search this
Contents:
Folder(s) may include exhibition announcements, newspaper and/or magazine clippings, press releases, brochures, reviews, invitations, illustrations, resumes, artist's statements, exhibition catalogs.
Place:
New York (N.Y.)
Topic:
Art Organizations  Search this
Location:
Art & Artist files at the Smithsonian American Art Museum/ National Portrait Gallery Library
Data source:
Smithsonian Libraries
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:SILAF_100337

John Vassos Papers

Creator:
Vassos, John, 1898-1985  Search this
Names:
General Electric Company  Search this
Industrial Designers Society of America  Search this
Kuljian Corporation  Search this
Matthias Hohner AG  Search this
Packard Motor Car Company  Search this
Perey Manufacturing Company  Search this
Prudential Lines, Inc.  Search this
Radio Corporation of America.  Search this
Remington Arms Company  Search this
Savage Arms Corporation  Search this
Silvermine Guild of Artists  Search this
Byard, Dorothy  Search this
Sanders, Bernard  Search this
Second, George  Search this
Vassos, Ruth  Search this
Extent:
18.7 Linear feet
Type:
Collection descriptions
Archival materials
Interviews
Paintings
Photographs
Screen prints
Transcripts
Design drawings
Scrapbooks
Sketches
Slides (photographs)
Date:
1915-1989
Summary:
The papers of designer, illustrator, and muralist John Vassos measure 18.7 linear feet and date from 1915 to 1989. The papers include biographical materials, personal and professional correspondence, writings and writing project files, Industrial Designers Society of America (IDSA) files, Radio Corporation of American (RCA) files, Silvermine Guild of Artists files, general professional and committee files, printed materials, four scrapbooks, photographic materials, and artwork.
Scope and Contents:
The papers of designer, writer, illustrator, and muralist John Vassos measure 18.7 linear feet and date from 1915 to 1989. The papers include biographical materials, personal and professional correspondence, writings and writing project files, Industrial Designers Society of America (IDSA) files, Radio Corporation of American (RCA) files, Silvermine Guild of Artists files, general professional and committee files, printed materials, four scrapbooks, photographic materials, and artwork.

Biographical materials include various biographies and resumes, passports for Ruth and John Vassos and other vital documents, one unidentified interview transcript with Vassos, property boundaries, leases, and scattered financial materials among other material. Correspondence is primarily professional in nature and is with colleagues, industrial design organizations in which Vassos' was involved, organizations and individuals with which Vassos' may have done consulting work, and others. Personal correspondence includes exchanges with a few WWII military colleagues and friends, and several files of personal correspondence between Ruth and John Vassos during his deployment in WWII.

John Vassos was a prolific writer and illustrated and wrote a number of articles, books, essays, and play scripts. Writings and writing projects include handwritten and typed drafts of book manuscripts, including Vassos' autobiography; sketched mock-ups with illustrations and layouts for articles and books; publishing contracts and correspondence; and writings by others. Notable published books include Contempo, Phobia, and Ultimo.

Vassos' involvement in the founding and eventual merging of major U. S. industrial design organizations is documented within the IDSA files, which include materials on ADI, IDI, ASID, SID, and IDEA.

Vassos' thirty-plus year career as a consultant designer with RCA is documented through various materials, including contract agreements, correspondence, design plans and sketches, expense reports, project proposals, and various other materials. And as the president and an active member of the Silvermine Guild of Artists, Vassos kept extensive files on Guild activities, including building proposals and sketches, logo designs, exhibitions, school plans and lesson structures, photographs, and printed materials.

Vassos' involvement with numerous other professional organizations and committees as a consultant designer, illustrator, member, and muralist, is documented through general professional and committee files. Vassos designed appliances, bicycles, flatware, knives, pens, radios, rifles, television sets, and turnstiles, in addition to painting murals, designing several buildings, and doing interior design work for theaters. Companies include: General Electric Company; M. Hohner, Inc.; the India Industries World Trade Fair; International Society for Arts and Decoration; Kuljian Corporation; Packard Motor Car Company; Perey Manufacturing Company; Prudential Lines, Inc.; Remington Arms Company, Inc.; Remington Dupont; and Savage Arms Corporation, to name a few.

The collection also includes printed materials; three clippings scrapbooks on the Silvermine Guild and School, and one scrapbook assembled by a Greek student, George Second; and photographic items: approximately 97 glass lantern slides, various negatives, color slides, and photographs of John Vassos and others, as well as images of products and designs, and two photo albums of industrial design work.

Artwork includes extensive figure and illustration sketches in pen, pencil, charcoal, watercolor, and other media; two paintings by Vassos; mural design drawings and sketches; sketches of products and designs; and several sketches and a collection of silkscreen prints by other artists, including Dorothy Byard and Bernard Sanders.
Arrangement:
This collection is arranged as 11 series:

Missing Title

Series 1: Biographical Material, 1915-1975 (0.4 linear feet; Box 1, Box 16, OV20, OV35)

Series 2: Correspondence, 1927-1986 (2.3 linear feet; Boxes 1-3)

Series 3: Writings and Writing Projects, circa 1929-1989 (1.0 linear feet; Boxes 3-4, OV20)

Series 4: Industrial Designers Society of America (IDSA), circa 1938-1976 (2.0 linear feet; Boxes 4-6, Box 16, OV21)

Series 5: Radio Corporation of America (RCA), circa 1930s-1976 (2.1 linear feet; Boxes 6-7, Box 15, OV22-24, OV26)

Series 6: Silvermine Guild of Artists, 1915-1986 (1.9 linear feet; Boxes 7-9, Box 16, OV27-28)

Series 7: General Professional and Committee Files, circa 1920s-1983 (3.8 linear feet; Boxes 9-11, Boxes 15-16, OV26, OV29-39, RD57)

Series 8: Printed Material, circa 1928-circa 1985 (1.6 linear feet; Boxes 11-12, Box 16)

Series 9: Scrapbooks, circa 1940s-1953 (0.8 linear feet: Box 13, Box 17, Box 19)

Series 10: Photographic Materials, 1919-circa 1989 (1.7 linear feet; Boxes 13-14, Box 16, Box 18, OV40-41, Lantern Slide Boxes 58-59)

Series 11: Artwork, circa 1930s-circa 1970s (1.7 linear feet; Box 14, Box 18, OV25, OV42-56)
Biographical / Historical:
John Vassos (1898-1985) was an author, designer, illustrator, and muralist, active in Norwalk, Connecticut.

Vassos was born John Vassacopoulos, in Romania to Greek parents, attended Robert College in Turkey, and joined the British Fleet to serve in World War I. He immigrated to Boston in 1919, where he washed windows and studied art and illustration with John Singer Sargent at the Fenway Art School. In 1924, he moved to New York City where he studied at the Art Students League under John Sloan. Vassos began his career as an illustrator for various magazines, in addition to writing, illustrating, and publishing over fourteen books, most notably, Contempo, Phobia, and Ultimo. He worked on many publications with his wife, Ruth Carrier, who often wrote what he then illustrated in the late 1920s through the 1930s.

Employed as an industrial designer at the Radio Corporation of America (RCA), he established their first internal design department in 1933. He contributed a number of RCA product designs, including radios, radio cabinets, and televisions during his time as a consultant and designer. In addition, he designed RCA's first electronically decorated living room for the New York World's Fair, "America at Home" pavilion. He remained as an industrial design consultant with RCA through 1964. Vassos went on to work as a consultant designer to create utensils with Remington Dupont, the first Lucite pen for Waterman, and redesigned turnstiles for Perey Manufacturing Company, among many other companies. In addition to product design work, Vassos did interior design work for restaurants and theaters, and painted murals for a number of companies, hotels, and movie theaters.

During World War II, Vassos served in the U. S. Army Air Corps developing camouflage techniques and conducting special operations in Greece while also writing a number of publications, including informational advertisements and flyers, as well as several brief illustrated books warning about carelessness with regards to camouflage and equipment.

In 1938, Vassos founded the American Designers Institute (ADI) and became president again in 1948. He was instrumental in the merger of the major industrial design associations, the Industrial Designers Institute (IDI), Industrial Design Education Association (IDEA), American Society of Industrial Designers (ASID), and the Society of Industrial Designers (SID), into the Industrial Designers Society of America (IDSA), where he was elected the first Chairman of the Board in 1965.

Additionally, he was president of the Silvermine Guild of Artists in Connecticut for ten terms from 1936 to 1955, where he designed the logo and raised significant funds with help from his influence with RCA. Between 1938 and 1940, the Guild held an exhibition titled Social Statements and included works by various members, to which he contributed two oil paintings of his own.

Vassos died in 1985 in Norwalk, Connecticut.
Related Materials:
John Vassos' papers are also at Syracuse University.
Provenance:
The John Vassos papers were donated from 1989 to 1990 by Paul Johnes, Vassos' nephew.
Restrictions:
Use of original papers requires an appointment and is limited to the Archives' Washington, D.C. Research Center. Contact Reference Services for more information.

Use of archival audiovisual recordings with no duplicate access copy requires advance notice.
Rights:
The Archives of American Art makes its archival collections available for non-commercial, educational and personal use unless restricted by copyright and/or donor restrictions, including but not limited to access and publication restrictions. AAA makes no representations concerning such rights and restrictions and it is the user's responsibility to determine whether rights or restrictions exist and to obtain any necessary permission to access, use, reproduce and publish the collections. Please refer to the Smithsonian's Terms of Use for additional information.
Occupation:
Designers -- Connecticut -- Norwalk  Search this
Design -- Study and teaching  Search this
Topic:
World War, 1939-1945  Search this
Theaters -- Designs and plans  Search this
Authors -- Connecticut  Search this
Theaters -- Decoration  Search this
Muralists -- Connecticut  Search this
Illustrators -- Connecticut  Search this
Genre/Form:
Interviews
Paintings
Photographs
Screen prints
Transcripts
Design drawings
Scrapbooks
Sketches
Slides (photographs)
Citation:
John Vassos papers, 1898-1985. Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.
Identifier:
AAA.vassjohn
See more items in:
John Vassos Papers
Archival Repository:
Archives of American Art
GUID:
https://n2t.net/ark:/65665/mw958433eb8-e0b1-48f6-a54b-d6d2384be428
EDAN-URL:
ead_collection:sova-aaa-vassjohn
Online Media:

Society of Industrial Designers (SID)

Collection Creator:
Vassos, John, 1898-1985  Search this
Container:
Box 4, Folder 34
Type:
Archival materials
Date:
1945-1947
Collection Restrictions:
Use of original papers requires an appointment and is limited to the Archives' Washington, D.C. Research Center. Contact Reference Services for more information.

Use of archival audiovisual recordings with no duplicate access copy requires advance notice.
Collection Rights:
The Archives of American Art makes its archival collections available for non-commercial, educational and personal use unless restricted by copyright and/or donor restrictions, including but not limited to access and publication restrictions. AAA makes no representations concerning such rights and restrictions and it is the user's responsibility to determine whether rights or restrictions exist and to obtain any necessary permission to access, use, reproduce and publish the collections. Please refer to the Smithsonian's Terms of Use for additional information.
Collection Citation:
John Vassos papers, 1898-1985. Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.
See more items in:
John Vassos Papers
John Vassos Papers / Series 4: Industrial Designers Society of America (IDSA)
Archival Repository:
Archives of American Art
GUID:
https://n2t.net/ark:/65665/mw950e3dfd0-b5b9-4d38-a75c-48d8bc9dbf94
EDAN-URL:
ead_component:sova-aaa-vassjohn-ref202

Oversized IDI Materials from Box 4, Folder 37

Collection Creator:
Vassos, John, 1898-1985  Search this
Container:
Box 16
Type:
Archival materials
Date:
circa 1952-circa 1962
Collection Restrictions:
Use of original papers requires an appointment and is limited to the Archives' Washington, D.C. Research Center. Contact Reference Services for more information.

Use of archival audiovisual recordings with no duplicate access copy requires advance notice.
Collection Rights:
The Archives of American Art makes its archival collections available for non-commercial, educational and personal use unless restricted by copyright and/or donor restrictions, including but not limited to access and publication restrictions. AAA makes no representations concerning such rights and restrictions and it is the user's responsibility to determine whether rights or restrictions exist and to obtain any necessary permission to access, use, reproduce and publish the collections. Please refer to the Smithsonian's Terms of Use for additional information.
Collection Citation:
John Vassos papers, 1898-1985. Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.
See more items in:
John Vassos Papers
John Vassos Papers / Series 4: Industrial Designers Society of America (IDSA)
Archival Repository:
Archives of American Art
GUID:
https://n2t.net/ark:/65665/mw982332979-32bb-417d-8913-aa247e864184
EDAN-URL:
ead_component:sova-aaa-vassjohn-ref299

Oversized IDI Materials from Box 4, Folder 37

Collection Creator:
Vassos, John, 1898-1985  Search this
Container:
Oversize 21
Type:
Archival materials
Date:
circa 1952-circa 1962
Collection Restrictions:
Use of original papers requires an appointment and is limited to the Archives' Washington, D.C. Research Center. Contact Reference Services for more information.

Use of archival audiovisual recordings with no duplicate access copy requires advance notice.
Collection Rights:
The Archives of American Art makes its archival collections available for non-commercial, educational and personal use unless restricted by copyright and/or donor restrictions, including but not limited to access and publication restrictions. AAA makes no representations concerning such rights and restrictions and it is the user's responsibility to determine whether rights or restrictions exist and to obtain any necessary permission to access, use, reproduce and publish the collections. Please refer to the Smithsonian's Terms of Use for additional information.
Collection Citation:
John Vassos papers, 1898-1985. Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.
See more items in:
John Vassos Papers
John Vassos Papers / Series 4: Industrial Designers Society of America (IDSA)
Archival Repository:
Archives of American Art
GUID:
https://n2t.net/ark:/65665/mw967269368-4fee-452c-ba9c-5047c6dd3afb
EDAN-URL:
ead_component:sova-aaa-vassjohn-ref300

Oversized IDSA Merit Award Certificates from Box 6, Folder 13

Collection Creator:
Vassos, John, 1898-1985  Search this
Container:
Box 16
Type:
Archival materials
Date:
1953-1976
Collection Restrictions:
Use of original papers requires an appointment and is limited to the Archives' Washington, D.C. Research Center. Contact Reference Services for more information.

Use of archival audiovisual recordings with no duplicate access copy requires advance notice.
Collection Rights:
The Archives of American Art makes its archival collections available for non-commercial, educational and personal use unless restricted by copyright and/or donor restrictions, including but not limited to access and publication restrictions. AAA makes no representations concerning such rights and restrictions and it is the user's responsibility to determine whether rights or restrictions exist and to obtain any necessary permission to access, use, reproduce and publish the collections. Please refer to the Smithsonian's Terms of Use for additional information.
Collection Citation:
John Vassos papers, 1898-1985. Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.
See more items in:
John Vassos Papers
John Vassos Papers / Series 4: Industrial Designers Society of America (IDSA)
Archival Repository:
Archives of American Art
GUID:
https://n2t.net/ark:/65665/mw9353e2b4b-fca3-4c41-9bf5-36de881095f5
EDAN-URL:
ead_component:sova-aaa-vassjohn-ref301

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