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The Trains Behind: Trains of the Art Deco era

The Trains Behind: Trains of the Art Deco era
photo: Trains Behind: Trains of the Art Deco era
23 / 11 / 2021

Art Deco as the most popular design and architectonic style of the 1920s and '30s in Europe and America influenced most of the design projects developed at that time. From its start, Art Deco was influenced by the bold geometric forms of Cubism and the Vienna Secession; the bright colors of Fauvism and the Ballets Russes; the updated craftsmanship of the furniture of the eras of Louis Philippe I and Louis XVI; and the exoticized styles of China and Japan, India, Persia, ancient Egypt, and Mayan art.

Understandably the Art Deco movement had a major impact on the train designs too. Art Deco is proven again and again to be a timeless and eye-pleasing style significantly represented in recently released movies such as The Great Gatsby, Murder on the orient express, and The Grand Budapest Hotel.

Here are some honorable mentions of the best-known art deco rail designers

  • Raymond Loewy was a Franco–American industrial designer who achieved fame for the magnitude of his design efforts across a wide range of industries. He was recognized for this by Time magazine and featured on its cover on October 31, 1949. Loewy designed to steam, electric, and diesel locomotives for the Pennsylvania Railway. He also designed the color schemes and interiors for the Northern Pacific Railway’s North Coast Limited.
  • Henry Dreyfuss was an American industrial designer. Dreyfuss and his company received worldwide recognition for numerous designs for a broad spectrum of consumer and commercial products, including streamlined locomotives for the New York Central together with the famed 20th Century Limited and the Mercury.
  • Otto August Kuhler was an American designer, one of the best-known industrial designers of the American railroads. His design for the Leigh Valley locomotive is spectacular when it comes to streamlining a locomotive. The 1930s and 1940s were unique when it came to modernizing trains.

Raymond Loewy

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Henry Dreyfuss

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Otto Kuhler

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