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The Streamlined Designer

Lawrence Bush
November 4, 2017
Raymond Loewy, often called the “father of industrial design” and the inventor of “streamlined” design, was born in France on this date in 1893 to a Viennese Jewish father and a French non-Jewish mother. Loewy spent most of his career in the U.S., and several notable Jewish designers, artists and architects who were forced to flee from the Nazis in Europe were given opportunities to integrate into American society by Raymond Loewy Associates. Among his iconic designs were the Greyhound bus, the Lucky Strike cigarettes package, the Gestetner copying machine, the Electrolux floor polisher, Shell, Exxon and BP logos, Coldspot refrigerators, the Studebaker Avanti, two notable train locomotives, and NASA’s Skylab space station’s interior. “Loewy has probably affected the daily life of more Americans than any other man of his time.” —Cosmopolitan magazine, 1950

​​​​Lawrence Bush edited Jewish Currents from 2003 until 2018. He is the author of Bessie: A Novel of Love and Revolution and Waiting for God: The Spiritual Explorations of a Reluctant Atheist, among other books. His new volume of illustrated Torah commentaries, American Torah Toons 2, is scheduled for publication this year.