Henry Dreyfuss was an American industrial designer known for his streamlined designs for telephones, vacuum cleaners, typewriters, and other household items. He also designed the Mercury train for the New York Central Railroad. This insulated thermos cafe is emblematic of his designs. Crafted of aluminum, the horizontal banding and the handle, which mimics the profile of the Mercury locomotive, both give a sense of modern style to a utilitarian object.
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Designer:Henry Dreyfuss (American, New York 1904–1972 South Pasedena, California)
Manufacturer:The American Thermos Bottle Company (Norwich, Connecticut)
Medium:Enamel, aluminum, cork
Dimensions:5 7/8 in. × 6 in. × 5 in. (14.9 × 15.2 × 12.7 cm)
Credit Line:John C. Waddell Collection, Gift of John C. Waddell, 1998
Marking: (underside, impressed): THE AMERICAN THERMOS BOTTLE CO / NORWICH CONN USA / THE ONLY / THERMOS REG. U.S. PAT. OFFICE NO 539 VACUUM BOTTLE / DESIGNED BY / HENRY DREYFUSS
John C. Waddell, New York (until 1998; his gift to MMA)
New York. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "American Modern, 1925–1940: Design for a New Age," May 16, 2000–January 7, extended to February 4, 2001, unnumbered cat. (p. 156).
Newport Beach, Calif. Orange County Museum of Art. "American Modern, 1925–1940: Design for a New Age," May 25–August 19, 2001, unnumbered cat.
Flint. Flint Institute of Arts. "American Modern, 1925–1940: Design for a New Age," September 14–December 16, 2001, unnumbered cat.
Philadelphia. Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts. "American Modern, 1925–1940: Design for a New Age," January 11–April 7, 2002, unnumbered cat.
Charlotte. Mint Museum of Craft and Design. "American Modern, 1925–1940: Design for a New Age," May 3–July 28, 2002, unnumbered cat.
Tulsa. Philbrook Museum of Art. "American Modern, 1925–1940: Design for a New Age," August 23–November 17, 2002, unnumbered cat.
London. Victoria and Albert Museum. "Art Deco 1910–1939," March 27–July 20, 2003, unnumbered cat.
Toronto. Royal Ontario Museum. "Art Deco 1910–1939," September 15, 2003–January 4, 2004, unnumbered cat.
California Palace of the Legion of Honor, Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco. "Art Deco 1910–1939," March 13–July 5, 2004, unnumbered cat.
Museum of Fine Arts, Boston. "Art Deco 1910–1939," September 19, 2004–January 9, 2005, unnumbered cat.
Gilbert Seldes. A Record of Industrial Designs by Henry Dreyfuss, 1929 through 1946. New York, , unpaginated, ill.
Russell Flinchum. Henry Dreyfuss, Industrial Designer: The Man in the Brown Suit. New York, 1997, p. 112, ill. (similar design).
David A. Hanks and Anne Hoy. American Streamlined Design: The World of Tomorrow. Paris, 2005, pp. 76–77, 269 n. 51, nos. 25 and 26, ill. (color; Brill collection, Montreal Museum of Fine Arts).
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