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Never Leave Well Enough Alone


Between the 1930s and the 1960s, Raymond Loewy's streamlined designs for thousands of consumer goods -- everything from toasters and refrigerators to automobiles and ocean liners -- radically changed the look of American life. Regarded as the father of modern industrial design, he appeared on the cover of Time in 1949; in 1990, he was selected as one of Life's "100 Most Important Americans of the 20th Century." Whether they realized it or not, Americans at mid-century lived in a Loewy-designed world, from the cigarettes they smoked (Lucky Strike's packaging), the soda they drank (the restaurant Coca-Cola dispenser), the toothpaste they used (Pepsodent's toothpaste tube), the cars they drove (his organization was Studebaker's design and styling department), the buses (Greyhound) and trains (the Pennsylvania Railroad) in which they rode, and the department stores (Gimbel's, Foley's, and Lord & Taylor) and grocery stores (Lucky) where they shopped.

Never Leave Well Enough Alone was first published in 1951 at the height of Loewy's career. His company, Raymond Loewy Associates, served as design consultants to more than a hundred of the world's largest corporations, and products manufactured to their specifications sold in excess of $3 billion annually. Written and designed by Loewy, this profusely illustrated book is part autobiography and part design manifesto. Acclaimed for its wit, its idiosyncracies, and its insight into the Loewy aesthetic, this volume stands as a remarkable document of the American Century and a still-vital meditation upon the importance of industrial design in daily life.

Product Details

Table of Contents

Contents:Introduction to the Johns Hopkins Edition, by Glen Porter PART ONE Chapter 1 Corporal Loewy Chapter 2 Adolescence Chapter 3 Sex and Locomotives Chapter 4 Fashion Illustrator Chapter 5 The Crusade PART TWOChapter 6 The Duplicating Angel Chapter 7 Skyscraper Office Chapter 8 American Cooking Chapter 9 The Penthouse Studio Chapter 10 The "Me Too" Boys Chapter 11 From Toothpicks to Locomotives Chapter 12 Big Business Chapter 13 Michael and Venise Chapter 14 Viola Erickson Chapter 15 Preparations for Postwar PART THREEChapter 16 The National Widget Company Chapter 17 The Chrome and You Chapter 18 Industrial Design Chapter 19 Case History Chapter 20 The MAYA Stage Chapter 21 The Borax Plague Chapter 22 Design and Psychology Chapter 23 Automobile Body Styling Chapter 24 Reader Rides Again Chapter 25 Keeping Fit Chapter 26 Where To?

About the Author

Raymond Loewy (1893-1986) was born in France and came to America in 1919. After dressing department store windows and illustrating fashion magazines, he established his own design firm in 1930 and worked as an industrial designer into his eighties. Glenn Porter is director of the Hagley Museum and Library in Wilmington, Delaware, and author of The Rise of Big Business, 1860-1920.


A fascinating insight into the birth and growth of the largest consumer society the world has ever seen-and a handbook for how to make technology desirable. New Scientist A great resource for the auto buff as well as aficionados of industrial design.

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