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Never Leave Well Enough Alone: Raymond Loewy
Raymond Loewy
Johns Hopkins U Press
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Date Listed:
2019-01-05 00:00:00
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Never Leave Well Enough Alone

the autobiography of Raymond Loewy

2002 edition, with a new introduction by Glenn Porter.

Cloth with dust jacket, 6x6", 488 pages, 129 halftones. 2002.

New of interest: Streamliner: Raymond Loewy and Image-making in the Age of American Industrial Design

"An autobiography by one of the leading industrial designers in this country....Mr. Loewy tells of his youth in France, his coming to America after the first war, his initial success as a fashion artist, and the dawn of industrial design and his part in it....The book is instructive, brash, cocksure, occasionally funny, sometimes vulgar, and always honest." - New Yorker

"Whilst displaying an uncommon amount of literary dexterity, modesty, and generosity, Loewy manages to describe the development of his career, his achievements, and the methods and organization of his business....It is the funniest and most lucid success story that the industrial design field has yet produced." - Interiors

"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 rounded Coca-Cola bottle), 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'sFoley'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.

Table of Contents

Introduction to the Johns Hopkins Edition, by Glen Porter


Chapter 1 Corporal Loewy

Chapter 2 Adolescence

Chapter 3 Sex and Locomotives

Chapter 4 Fashion Illustrator

Chapter 5 The Crusade


Chapter 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


Chapter 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?

"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."