On View: Luce Visible Storage and Study Center, 5th Floor
In the period between the world wars, American manufacturers often hired freelance industrial designers to enhance the images of their products. Electrolux hired Lurelle Guild to redesign their vacuum cleaner. He produced an iconic design that embodies the era's fascination with speed and efficiency and incorporated new materials such as rubber and chrome to make Electrolux appear more innovative. This design, with variations such as the substitution of wheels for the gliders, remained in production for over twenty years.
Chromed, polished and enameled steel; cast aluminum; vinyl; rubber
8 1/2 x 23 x 7 3/4 in. (21.6 x 58.4 x 19.7 cm) (show scale)
Pressed into metal band on top: "K75892R".
Opposite , on under side of bass: "MODEL XXX D. C. TO 60 CYCLES A.C. 115 VOLTS-535 WATTS".
Molded into underside of blue canister: "UL"
Both sides of canister with band with raised letters: "ELECTROLUX"
Gift of Fifty/50
Canister-type vacuum cleaner with blue body (vinyl-covered on top, enameled on bottom), raised on a pair of polished steel runners; one end of canister chromed steel, the other cast aluminum. Rubber handle. Model 30. Parts are sub lettered as follows: (a) body; (b) hose; (c) upper chrome tube; (d) chrome tube with brush attachment; (e) brush attachment; (f) electrical cord.
CONDITION: Worn from use with scratching, pitting, and minor dents to all surfaces.
Lurelle Guild (American, 1898-1985). Vacuum Cleaner, ca. 1937. Chromed, polished and enameled steel; cast aluminum; vinyl; rubber, 8 1/2 x 23 x 7 3/4 in. (21.6 x 58.4 x 19.7 cm). Brooklyn Museum, Gift of Fifty/50, 86.15a-f. Creative Commons-BY (Photo: Brooklyn Museum, 86.15a-f_SL3.jpg)
overall, 86.15a-f_SL3.jpg. Brooklyn Museum photograph
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That is a really unusually shaped pitcher! It was manufactured circa 1955 by The Aluminum Cooking Utensil Company in New Kensington, Pennsylvania. The designer was Lurelle Guild, who also designed he Electrolux Vacuum Cleaner, also on view in the Luce Center.
This is a vacuum designed in the 1930s. It's aerodynamic shape was influenced by that era's interest in speed. During the Great Depression, industrial designers were hired to "style" existing products to make them look more advanced and desirable. This encouraged people to spend money, which helped the economy recover.
Notice that it has a sled-like glider on the bottom instead of wheels!