Archival materials relating to Diamond's career as an industrial designer, including various client files (especially Libbey Glass) containing photographs, designs, sketches, and other papers; articles by and about Diamond; magazines; awards; and a scrapbook.
The collection is divided into eight series.
Series 1: Client Files, 1945-1966
Series 2: Libbey Glass, 1946-1984
Series 3: Shaker Furniture and Clothing, undated
Series 4: Articles, 1945-1983
Series 5; Scrapbook, 1937-1946
Series 6: Presentations and Awards, 1951-1994
Series 7: Japan (1957 and 1968) and Israel (1973)
Series 8: Photographs, 1964-1967
Biographical / Historical:
Freda Diamond's work shaped the tastes of many Americans in the middle of the twentieth century. Diamond was born in New York City in 1905. She graduated from Cooper Union, a renowned institution of design, and then studied in Europe. As an industrial designer, Diamond's area of expertise focused largely on the home, influencing the tastes of the average American housewife. Her ability to predict consumer demands through market research was an important factor in the success of her designs. In 1942, Libbey Glass, a division of Owens-Illinois, commissioned Diamond (at her own prompting) to make a survey of consumer tastes. The resulting award-winning designs sold many companies on the idea of researching consumer preferences before manufacturing a product. Her opinion was so respected that in 1945 she was appointed to a manufacturing rehabilitation committee sent to Italy. Diamond's role was to educate Italian craftsmen on what to manufacture for the American mass market. In 1957 and 1968 she made similar trips to Japan. She died in 1998.
The collection was donated to the division of Ceramics and Glass, NMAH by Freda Diamond in June of 1997.
Collection is open for research.
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.