Eugene Schoen ( American, 1880 - 1957 )


Schmieg and Kotzian ( American, 1908 )

c. 1935–1936
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General Description

Giving objects, even stationary ones, streamlined shapes was seen as a sign of progress and dynamism in the Depression years of the 1930s. Thanks to the emerging profession of industrial design and the need to enhance slumping sales figures, streamlined silhouettes were given to everything from buildings to buses and from cocktail shakers to vacuum cleaners. Furthermore, the modernity of these products was often enhanced through the use of new materials, including plywood, plastic, chromed steel, and aluminum. The end result was fashionable yet relatively inexpensive products that could be consumed on a mass scale and were not restricted to the wealthy upper class.

This pure and minimalistic firescreen is constructed of glass and chrome, utilizing just a few of the modern materials widely applied by industrial designers of this era. The repeated banding, or speed lines, achieved by the horizontal glass rods combined with the use of chrome echoes the influence that the Machine Age aesthetic had on everyday household products during the thirties.

Adapted from

Charles Venable, “Art Deco and Streamlined Modern Design, 1920-1950” Gallery text (2000.331), 2001.

Web Resources

PBS American Experience
Read more about Industrial Designers and Streamliners

Eugene Schoen
Read more about industrial designer Eugene Schoen