Author Topic: Inspiration - 1920s/1930s GB or Between the Wars GB  (Read 4674 times)

Offline apophenia

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Inspiration - 1920s/1930s GB or Between the Wars GB
« on: May 29, 2021, 10:45:15 AM »
(De)Signs of the Time

In the aftermath of WWI, Art Nouveau/Jugendstil was over and Arts and Crafts suddenly seemed naïve and outdated. The up and comer was arts décoratifs - although no-one used the term Art Deco at the time. In industrial design, Deco led to Streamline Moderne which dominated Western Europe and North America. In fascist Italy, Futurismo held on (although with its earlier 'rejection of the past' cant toned down). Design in Nazi Germany leaned towards grandiose brutalism with bold graphics partly negated by sentimental kitsch (despite which, German dirigibles became high icons of Streamline Moderne). In the Soviet Union, Proletkult (proletarskaya kultura) of the 1920s dominated until the emergence of Socialist Realism after 1932.

And isn't all of that a rich brew to splash about in!

Between the wars, industrial designers of quotidian consumer goods revelled in modern technology and new materials. And why not? The use of plastics (eg: Bakelite), formerly-rare metals like aluminum, etc., was in widespread use for the first time. Styles like  Streamline Moderne were associated with luxury oceanliner interiors (indeed, in French, this form was actually known as Style paquebot). Suddenly, everything from steam trains to toaster had to be 'streamlined'. Chrome-plated horizontal 'speed lines' were applied to everything from autos to lamp stands.

Many consider this to be the high-point industrial design - with 'stars' like Norman Belle Geddes, Raymond Loewy, and Henry Dreyfuss. We'll get to some of their concepts but I'll end with two designs that epitomize Streamline Moderne for me: Lurelle Guild's sleigh-footed 1937 Electrolux model 30 vacuum cleaner and Paul Jaray's iconic 1934 Tatra 77 rear-engined streamliner car.

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Offline apophenia

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Re: Inspiration - 1920s/1930s GB or Between the Wars GB
« Reply #1 on: May 29, 2021, 10:46:05 AM »
Much of the design of the '20s and '30s was about luxury - or a 'swelligent' pastische of seeming elegance (think: streamlined Bakelite-cased radios for the masses). Fortunately for us, Streamline Moderne was taken to ridiculous lengths. For me, the contrasts come out best with ship design. Supreme elegance (for those that could afford it) came in the stylish interiors of the SS Normandie, Conte di Savoia, or Queen Mary. Apply streamlining concepts to the exterior of ships and things get delightfully weird.

Evidence? I submit Norman Bel Geddes' streamlined 'whale oceanliner' concept and the Black Ball Line's extra-roundy ferry, the MV Kalakala.
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Offline apophenia

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Re: Inspiration - 1920s/1930s GB or Between the Wars GB
« Reply #2 on: May 29, 2021, 10:47:24 AM »
Of course, not everything was streamlined in the 1920s and '30s. In some cases, where streamlining might have really helped, it was nowhere in evidence. Case in point, some the earlier large airliners with their blunt forms and/or profusion of drag-inducing struts. Truly built-in head winds! You can't make this stuff up ... but we can try  >:D

Here, as case studies, I present the Farman F.121 Jabiru and Short L.17 Scylla.
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Offline apophenia

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Re: Inspiration - 1920s/1930s GB or Between the Wars GB
« Reply #3 on: May 29, 2021, 10:48:12 AM »
Where designers of the day really shone was with trains. If the 1930s was a 'Golden Age' for aviation, it must've been an age of platinum and diamonds for locomotives. Somehow these multi-ton lumps of cast-iron got transmogrified into svelte ambassadors of progress through speed. Streamlined claddings (sometimes retrofits) made these trains look fast while standing still at station-side.

My examples bring up point that could stretch this GB. In the US, Streamline Moderne lasted well into the '40s. Strictly speaking, our GB only covers the 1920s and 1930s but the style of that era continued on into the next decade.

What do you think? Are stylistic influences from '40s Streamline Moderne valid for this GB?

Attached are two examples from 1940: Lurelle Guild's forward-cab streamlined train concept and the Black Diamond Express (sleekly reclad flagship of the Lehigh Valley Railroad).
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Offline apophenia

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Re: Inspiration - 1920s/1930s GB or Between the Wars GB
« Reply #4 on: May 29, 2021, 10:49:04 AM »
We touched on Streamline Moderne auto design in the first post. This was the era of Buckminster Fuller's Dymaxion car, the McQuay-Norris Streamliner, Chrysler's Airflow production type, Greyhound buses, etc. To this mix, we must add Count Alexis De Sakhnoffsky's swoopy Labatt's beer trucks!

Sure, Labatt's watery lager wouldn't have tasted any better. But, damn, did it arrive in style!
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Offline apophenia

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Re: Inspiration - 1920s/1930s GB or Between the Wars GB
« Reply #5 on: May 29, 2021, 10:52:59 AM »
Last but not least, aircraft of the Streamline Moderne era. Not sure how these examples fit but, on the left is a Raymond Loewy 'design' typical of the jumbo transatlantic airliner concepts of the '30s. However, the helicopter on the right is much later. (In 1943, Loewy was asked by Greyhound Bus Lines to envision a transport helicopter of the near future - the result was this Loewy-Sikorsky 14-seater concept.)

Okay, whose got more inspirational images (or links) from this era of style and substance? (We haven't touched on shiny biplanes, Schneider Trophy floatplane, airplane-engined racing cars, ...!)
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Offline Kerick

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Re: Inspiration - 1920s/1930s GB or Between the Wars GB
« Reply #6 on: May 29, 2021, 12:06:02 PM »
The LaBatts truck looks like something from Willie Wonka! And I had to look really hard at the Farman three engine job to see where the pilot was! These are great examples of design and I look forward to see what folks come up with.

Offline elmayerle

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Re: Inspiration - 1920s/1930s GB or Between the Wars GB
« Reply #7 on: May 29, 2021, 01:01:55 PM »
Well, I could point to the clad streamlined steam locomotives operated by the New York Central and the Milwaukee Road as interesting cases.  The more interesting case is where form met function in the Pennsylvania Railroad's GG-1 electric locomotives (the basic shape evolved from their P-5a (Modified) locomotives that were heavily redesigned after a major accident showed the problem with head end cabs) but the GG-1, particularly after Raymond Loewy replaced rivets with welding, is still a beautiful example of streamlining.

Offline Buzzbomb

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Re: Inspiration - 1920s/1930s GB or Between the Wars GB
« Reply #8 on: May 29, 2021, 01:54:39 PM »
Wow, some of that streamlined stuff is brilliant

Offline Robomog

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Re: Inspiration - 1920s/1930s GB or Between the Wars GB
« Reply #9 on: May 29, 2021, 05:18:07 PM »
What a great start to a Group Build !

Love the Geddes ocean  liner and the LaBatts truck  ( but I'm not going to build them  ;))

I have other plans ............. ::)

Mog
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Offline Old Wombat

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Re: Inspiration - 1920s/1930s GB or Between the Wars GB
« Reply #10 on: May 29, 2021, 10:26:19 PM »
Of course there are the wonderful French military (& civil) aircraft of the era!


Liore et Olivier LeO-20


Breguet 274


Amiot 143


Latécoère 521

And some rather odd-ball Britons.


Avro 549 Aldershot


Boulton Paul P.29 Sidestrand


Boulton & Paul Bugle


Blackburn T.4 Cubaroo
"This is the Captain. We have a little problem with our engine sequence, so we may experience some slight turbulence and, ah, explode."

Offline Story

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Re: Inspiration - 1920s/1930s GB or Between the Wars GB
« Reply #11 on: May 29, 2021, 10:39:03 PM »

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Re: Inspiration - 1920s/1930s GB or Between the Wars GB
« Reply #12 on: May 30, 2021, 02:07:37 AM »

« Last Edit: May 30, 2021, 02:18:41 AM by GTX_Admin »
All hail the God of Frustration!!!

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Offline Kerick

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Re: Inspiration - 1920s/1930s GB or Between the Wars GB
« Reply #13 on: May 30, 2021, 10:18:04 AM »




The one with the lions looks like someone just threw out the trash from lunch!

Offline apophenia

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Re: Inspiration - 1920s/1930s GB or Between the Wars GB
« Reply #14 on: May 30, 2021, 10:27:23 AM »
Great stuff guys! I love the French stuff - especially the gazillion-port-holed Latécoère 521. Have to admit, though, ... I'd never heard of that gorgeously hideous Boulton Paul Bugle!

@ story: Now I've got 'Iron Man' stuck in my head! For anyone where it may be too early for Black Sabbath, might I recommend Larkin Poe's acoustic/steel slide guitar cover instead?

-- https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-9VtRGCfj3I

The one with the lions looks like someone just threw out the trash from lunch!

I was thinking: Safari Sikorsky S-38 pilot-as-lion-snack  :o
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Re: Inspiration - 1920s/1930s GB or Between the Wars GB
« Reply #15 on: May 31, 2021, 01:27:53 AM »
All hail the God of Frustration!!!

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Re: Inspiration - 1920s/1930s GB or Between the Wars GB
« Reply #16 on: May 31, 2021, 01:30:30 AM »
For the Sikorskys look up Martin and Osa Johnson
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Offline Frank3k

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Re: Inspiration - 1920s/1930s GB or Between the Wars GB
« Reply #17 on: May 31, 2021, 07:26:42 AM »
The Henderson motorcycle:


Extremely cool, as long as you're going in a straight line.

Also in the same directionally challenged department, the 1939 Duesenberg Coupe Simone Midnight Ghost:


and the 1938 Delage D8-120S Saoutchik:


The Talbot-Lago Coupe T150 made a concession to the turn crowd:



1948 may be outside the time range, but the 1948 Norman Timbs Buick Streamliner is pretty cool:


This 1929 Three-Wheeled Pleasure Car:


was also used in the sci-fi-ish 1929 movie "High Treason"



colorized:

Offline Kerick

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Re: Inspiration - 1920s/1930s GB or Between the Wars GB
« Reply #18 on: May 31, 2021, 12:39:20 PM »


I was just thinking of some airship possiblities.

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Offline apophenia

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Re: Inspiration - 1920s/1930s GB or Between the Wars GB
« Reply #20 on: June 02, 2021, 09:08:11 AM »
https://mashable.com/2015/11/07/r-100-airship/

Love it! Full maid service ... Upstairs/Downstairs in a dirigible  ;D
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Offline elmayerle

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Re: Inspiration - 1920s/1930s GB or Between the Wars GB
« Reply #21 on: June 02, 2021, 09:33:31 AM »
For more on the R100, check out Nevil Shute's autobiography, Slide Rule.  he got started in aerospace as a stress man on the R100, took part in the flight to Canada. and went on to help found Airspeed among other achievements.  IIRC, he starte writing to occupy his time while on the road for Airspeed.

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Re: Inspiration - 1920s/1930s GB or Between the Wars GB
« Reply #22 on: June 03, 2021, 03:28:39 AM »
Need I say more:  1930s, airship, cool idea, yellow wings...sigh.




https://youtu.be/IWoEQRl8dCs
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Offline Story

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Re: Inspiration - 1920s/1930s GB or Between the Wars GB
« Reply #23 on: June 04, 2021, 01:25:39 AM »


@ story: Now I've got 'Iron Man' stuck in my head! For anyone where it may be too early for Black Sabbath, might I recommend Larkin Poe's acoustic/steel slide guitar cover instead?
 

Plenty of Rocketeer figures out there in 28mm, good and bad
https://evilbobs.blogspot.com/2012/06/pulp-figures-rocketeers.html

What says pulp villain better than a flock of rocket propelled Schmeisser-totin' Hugo Boss-wearin' Nazis?
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sFreD9VNE3U
« Last Edit: June 04, 2021, 01:35:30 AM by Story »

Offline Story

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Re: Inspiration - 1920s/1930s GB or Between the Wars GB
« Reply #24 on: June 04, 2021, 01:34:04 AM »
Need I say more:  1930s, airship, cool idea, yellow wings...sigh.
https://youtu.be/IWoEQRl8dCs

The article in particular, the magazine in general and the movie for giggles.
https://neverwasmag.com/2019/08/flying-aircraft-carriers/

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sky_Captain_and_the_World_of_Tomorrow