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Henry Dreyfuss

Biographies
Henry Dreyfuss

*  1904 New York
† 1972 South Pasadena/Kalifornien


From 1921 Henry Dreyfuss served an apprenticeship in the practice of Norman Bel Geddes, who was eleven years older than he was. At that time Henry Dreyfuss mainly designed costumes and stage sets for New York theaters. In 1924 Norman Bel Geddes and Henry Dreyfuss collaborated on designing the stage sets for the successful Broadway show "The Miracle". In 1929 Henry Dreyfuss opened a practice and worked as a design consultant for Macy's department store although he now tended more toward industrial design, of which he was a pioneer in America. Alongside Raymond Loewy, Norman Bel Geddes, and Walter Dorwin Teague, Henry Dreyfuss was a leading exponent of streamlined design in America. From about 1920, streamlining was developed to enhance the hydrodynamic and aerodynamic properties of ship, plane, and car design. In the 1930s, however, streamlining was also applied to household appliance design to make appliances sell better because they looked elegant. The prestigious companies Henry Dreyfuss worked for include Bell Telephone, AT&T, American Airlines, Polaroid, and Hoover. From 1937 Henry Dreyfuss designed tractors and agricultural machinery for John Deere. For Bell Telephone, Henry Dreyfuss designed the "Bell 300", the telephone whose form remained stylish on into the 1980s. For Lockheed Henry Dreyfuss worked on converting military aircraft to civilian use. In 1951 Dreyfuss designed the interior of the Super Constellation, subdividing its elongated fuselage into small, inviting passenger spaces. Henry Dreyfuss also designed the interior of the Boeing 707. Henry Dreyfuss was a founding member of the American Society of Industrial Design. In 1965 he became president of the newly established Industrial Designers Society of America. Henry Dreyfuss published two important books on anthropometry: in 1955 "Designing for People", and, in 1960, "The Measure of Man".