Contemporary Zac

© Copyright Zac Sawyer 2014

The 'Contemporary Style' (often called the 'International Style' in architecture) cannot be said to have really established itself until after 1945.
'Art Deco' had been the dominant style before the 1939-1945 war, being the official style of countries such as Germany, Italy and the US, and also the style of the highly influential movie industry - based in Hollywood.
The world war, however, stopped any further developments in design, and there was generally a hiatus in style between 1939 to 1945.
After the war, 'Art Deco' - the last 'truly great style' - was seen as outdated and outmoded, and designers attempted to develop a new 'grammar' of style.
This new style, which was subsequently termed 'Contemporary' was, reflecting the times, optimistic and 'light-hearted', rejecting the seriousness of much of Deco design, which was now associated by many (wrongly, of course) with totalitarianism.
The forms were light, playful and colorful, using 'new' materials, and reflecting the most recent developments in a technology which had moved rapidly ahead with the impetus of the competition of conflict.
The factories in all the belligerent nations had, however, been converted to arms production for the duration of the war, and it therefore took a number of years before they could be converted back to the manufacture of consumer goods, and initially the production lines could only produce the original, pre-war designs.
Governments, eager to encourage economic development after the war, encouraged designers to produce new designs that would grab the attention of the public, and to this end they organised exhibitions of 'applied art'.


The first British exhibition related to the question of new design after the war was 'Britain Can Make It', held in London in 1946. It was organized by the 'Council of Industrial Design', later to become the 'Design Council'.
Even before the end of World War II, it was recognised that post-war reconstruction of manufacturing and international trade of exported goods would require the widespread acceptance of industrial design as part of future British manufacturing.
Accordingly the 'Council of Industrial Design' was founded in 1944 by the Board of Trade.
In September 1945, only a month after the end of the war, the Council announced a national exhibition of design "in all the main range of consumer goods", to be held the following year.

b=Britain Can Make It - Poster - 1946
This was the '1946 Britain Can Make It Exhibition', organized largely at the instigation of the Council's director, S.C. Leslie.

The exhibition was held from September–November at the Victoria and Albert Museum, London.
Part of the reason for choosing this venue was that many of the museum's main exhibits were still in their wartime evacuation storage, outside London.
The venue was undamaged by bombing, empty and available, and itself in need of an attraction to restore its pre-war visitors.
A major theme of the exhibition was 'didactic', in particular the display ‘What Industrial Design Means’, which had been the first major commission for Misha Black and the Design Research Unit.
Through Black's display, ‘The Birth of an Egg Cup’ (?) the role of the designer was presented as the crucial interchange between all the various aspects of design and production.

Rather than merely show-casing goods on offer, the exhibition, and this display in particular, were a propagandist attempt to highlight the need to update British approaches to product design if manufacturing was to be successful in post-war competition.
The audience was two-fold: the general public, who were as yet unused to the notion of design as a distinct process, and also the existing manufacturers, who clung to pre-war, if not Victorian, notions of how to run manufacturing industry.

Black's design for the display was deliberately eye-catching, from a 13 feet high plaster egg at its entrance, to the continually-operating plastics moulding press making three thousand egg cups per day during the exhibition.

This use of a working model in particular was commented on in surveys of exhibition visitors carried out by 'Mass Observation'.
A popular reaction in the press was to term it, "Britain Can't Have It", as the country was still in the grip of wartime Austerity measures, and the goods on display were intended for export.
Reactions of those attending the exhibition were varied between the general public, the design intelligentsia and the manufacturers.

Critics' reactions were highly positive, congratulating the exhibition organisers both on the intellectual quality of their exhibition, and also for the achievement of producing it during such a time of austerity. 
The public's reaction was less sophisticated, but still positive.
Their view was generally that of simply wanting products in the shops that they could actually buy.

The only real criticisms came from established manufacturers, who largely failed to appreciate the exhibition's attempt to emphasise design, and who still judged it as a simple shop-window display, of their same pre-war products.


One of the most well known of these exhibitions of new design took place in England, and was known as the 'Festival of Britain'.

'Festival of Britain' - 1951 - Logo

The Festival of Britain opened on the South Bank of the Thames in London in May of 1951.

It was the brainchild of Gerald Barry, and the Labour Deputy Leader Herbert Morrison, who described it as "a tonic for the nation".

'Festival of Britain' - London - 1951

The Festival Style was described as 'braced legs, indoor plants, lily-of-the valley sprays of light bulbs, aluminium lattices, Costswold-type walling with picture windows, flying staircases, blond wood, the thorn, the spike, and the molecule.'

It was undoubtedly a uniquely 'English' take on the modernist 'International Style', and echoes of the style could be seen in many building constructed in the early years after the war.
Unlike the ill-fated and ill-conceived' 'Millennium Dome', which was forced on an unwilling and disinterested country by so called 'New Labour', under the direction of Peter Mandleson, the Festival of Britain was a resounding success, and there were over 10,000,000 paid admissions to the 6 main exhibitions in 5 months.
This was the British Labour Government's attempt to boost the morale of the people; morale which had been badly dented by the privations of the war, by showing them what the future might hold for them - a showcase, in fact, of 'contemporary' British art, design, technology and science.
Significantly, the Festival was held on the centenary of Prince Albert's 'Great Exhibition' that had been held in Paxton's 'Crystal Palace' in Hyde Park in 1851.
Among the many spectacular features of the Festival was the 'Dome of Discovery', and
the 'Skylon', Sir Hugh Casson's magnificent 'Royal Festival Hall'.

'Dome of Discovery' and the 'Skylon'

'Royal Festival Hall'

And to reflect the more 'light-hearted' aspect of the festival there was the 'Fountain Lake', the 'Grotto', the 'Tree Walk', and the 'Guinness Festival Clock'.

'Fountain Lake'

'Guinness Festival Clock'

'Tree Walk'

The Festival also influenced popular culture, with the buildings and cities which Frank 
Hampson depicted in his 'Dan Dare' stories, in the 'Eagle' comic, being directly influence by Festival architecture and design.

Spacefleet Headquarters - Dan Dare - 1950s

Frank Hampson Drawing Dan Dare - 1950s

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Subjects include - jewellery, graphics, architecture, furniture, appliances (radio, television etc), automobiles, aviation.

Cocktail Shaker - 1950s Font

1950s Font

Deutsche Bundesbahn - Poster 1950s

British Railways Poster - 1950s

Lucky Strike - American Tobacco Advertising - 1950s

Firestone Tyres Poster - 1960s

St. Louis Cardinals
American Football Poster

I Love Lucy - American TV Poster

Excellent example of 1950s font and 'photo-realistic' art work

'Psycho' - American 1960s  Movie Poster

James Bond - 'Thunderball' English 1960s Film Poster

'Hair' - American 1970s Entertainment Poster

John Lennon - 1960s Pop Poster

Andy Warhol - Marylin Monroe - Pop Art

Andy Warhol - Andrej Varhola, Jr - (August 6, 1928 – February 22, 1987) was an American artist who was a leading figure in the visual art movement known as pop art.
His works profess to explore the relationship between artistic expression, celebrity culture and advertisement that flourished by the 1960s.
After a successful career as a commercial illustrator, Warhol became a renowned and extremely controversial 'artist'.
The Andy Warhol Museum in his native city, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, holds an extensive permanent collection of art and archives.

Villa Savoye
Le Corbusier 

Villa Savoye is a modernist villa in Poissy, in the outskirts of Paris, France. It was designed by Swiss architects Le Corbusier and Pierre Jeanneret, and built between 1928 and 1931.
A manifesto of Le Corbusier's "five points" of new architecture, the villa is representative of the bases of modern architecture, and is one of the most easily recognizable and renowned examples of the International style.
Originally built as a country retreat on behest of the Savoye family, the house fell into disuse after 1940, and entered a state of disrepair during World War II.
It passed on to be property of the French state in 1958, and after surviving several plans of demolition, it was designated as an official French historical monument in 1965 (a rare occurrence, as Le Corbusier was still living at the time).
It was thoroughly renovated from 1985 to 1997, and under the care of the 'Centre des Monuments Nationaux', the refurbished house is now open to visitors year-round.

Bauhaus - Dessau - Deutschland
Walter Adolph Georg Gropius (May 18, 1883 – July 5, 1969)

Staatliches Bauhaus, commonly known simply as the Bauhaus, was a school in Germany that combined crafts and the fine arts, and was famous for the approach to design that it publicized and taught.
It operated from 1919 to 1933. At that time the German term  Bauhaus, literally "house of construction" stood for "School of Building".
The Bauhaus school was founded by Walter Gropius in Weimar.
In spite of its name, and the fact that its founder was an architect, the Bauhaus did not have an architecture department during the first years of its existence. Nonetheless it was founded with the idea of creating a 'total' work of art in which all arts, including architecture would eventually be brought together.
The Bauhaus style became one of the most influential currents in Modernist architecture and modern design.
The Bauhaus had a profound influence upon subsequent developments in art, architecture, graphic design, interior design, industrial design, and typography.
The school existed in three German cities (Weimar from 1919 to 1925, Dessau from 1925 to 1932 and Berlin from 1932 to 1933), under three different architect-directors: Walter Gropius from 1919 to 1928, Hannes Meyer from 1928 to 1930 and Ludwig Mies van der Rohe from 1930 until 1933, when the school was closed by its own leadership under pressure from the Nazi regime.
The changes of venue and leadership resulted in a constant shifting of focus, technique, instructors, and politics. 

Bauhaus - Dessau - Deutschland
Walter Adolph Georg Gropius (May 18, 1883 – July 5, 1969)

Born in Berlin, Walter Gropius was the third child of Walter Adolph Gropius and Manon Auguste Pauline Scharnweber.
Gropius married Alma Mahler (1879–1964), widow of Gustav Mahler.
Walter and Alma's daughter, named Manon after Walter's mother, was born in 1916. When Manon died of polio at age eighteen, composer Alban Berg wrote his Violin Concerto in memory of her (it is inscribed "to the memory of an angel").
Gropius and Alma divorced in 1920. (Alma had by that time established a relationship with Franz Werfel, whom she later married.)
In 1923 Gropius married Ise (Ilse) Frank (d. 1983), and they remained together until his death. They adopted Beate Gropius, also known as Ati.

Barcelona  Pavillion  - Mies  van  der  Rohe

The Barcelona Pavilion, designed by Ludwig Mies van der Rohe, was the German Pavilion for the 1929 International Exposition in Barcelona, Spain. This building was used for the official opening of  the German section of the exhibition. It was an important building in the history of modern architecture, known for its simple form and extravagant materials, such as marble and travertine.
Mies placed Georg Kolbe's Alba ("Dawn") in the small water basin, leaving the larger one all the more empty. The sculpture also ties into the highly reflective materials Mies used—he chose the place where these optical effects would have the strongest impact; the building offers multiple views of Alba.
Because this was planned as an exhibition pavilion, it was intended to exist only temporarily. The building was torn down in early 1930, not even a year after it was completed. However, thanks to black and white photos and original plans, a group of Spanish architects reconstructed the pavilion permanently between 1983 and 1986.

Barcelona Pavillion - Interior
Mies van der Rohe

Barcelona  Pavillion  - Mies  van  der  Rohe

Barcelona Pavillion - Interior
Mies van der Rohe

Barcelona Pavillion - Interior
Mies van der Rohe

Barcelona  Pavillion  - Sculpture  Court  &  Reflecting  Pool
Mies  van  der  Rohe

Mies placed Georg Kolbe's Alba ("Dawn") in the small water basin, leaving the larger one all the more empty. The sculpture also ties into the highly reflective materials Mies used—he chose the place where these optical effects would have the strongest impact; the building offers multiple views of Alba.

Barcelona Pavillion - Reflecting Pool
Mies van der Rohe

Crown  Hall
Ludwig Mies  van  der  Rohe

Crown  Hall
Ludwig Mies  van  der  Rohe

S. R. Crown Hall, designed by the German-born Modernist architect Ludwig Mies van der Rohe, is the home of the College of Architecture at the Illinois Institute of Technology in Chicago, Illinois.
Mies was born in Aachen, Germany, on March 27, 1886.
after having trained with his father, a master stonemason.
In 1927 he designed one of his most famous buildings,
the German Pavilion at the international exposition in Barcelona
in 1929.
He moved to the United States in 1937.
from 1938 to 1958 he was head of the Architecture
Department at the Armour Institute of Technology in
Chicago, later renamed the Illinois Institute of Technology.
Crown Hall is regarded as Mies van Der Rohe's masterpiece, and is one of the most architecturally significant buildings of the 20th Century Modernist movement. Crown Hall was completed in 1956 during Mies van der Rohe's tenure as director of IIT's Department of Architecture.
One critic calls it the Parthenon of the 20th Century.

Westmount Square
Ludwig Mies van der Rohe

Westmount Square is a complex of four buildings located in Westmount, Quebec. Canada. The four buildings, two of which are residential, were designed by architect Ludwig Mies van der Rohe.
The complex opened on December 13, 1967. It is connected to Place Alexis Nihon by a tunnel.
Westmount Square's shopping concourse houses boutiques and art galleries, with about one-third of the space reserved for private for-profit health clinics.

Farnsworth House
Mies van der Rohe

The Farnsworth House was designed and constructed by Ludwig Mies van der Rohe between 1945-51.
It is a one-room weekend retreat in a once-rural setting, located 55 miles (89 km) southwest of Chicago's downtown on a 60-acre (24 ha) estate site, adjoining the Fox River, south of the city of Plano, Illinois.
The steel and glass house was commissioned by Dr. Edith Farnsworth, a prominent Chicago nephrologist.
Mies created a 1,500-square-foot (140 m2) house that is widely recognized as an iconic masterpiece of International Style of architecture. 
The home was designated a National Historic Landmark in 2006, after joining the National Register of Historic Places in 2004.
The house is currently owned and operated as a house museum by the historic preservation group, National Trust for Historic Preservation.

Farnsworth House
Mies van der Rohe

Farnsworth House
Mies van der Rohe

Farnsworth House - Interior
Mies van der Rohe

for details of the furnishings see the section on 'Furniture'

Philip Johnson House - Interior

Philip Cortelyou Johnson (July 8, 1906 – January 25, 2005) was an influential American architect.
In 1930, he founded the Department of Architecture and Design at the Museum of Modern Art in New York City, and later (1978), as a trustee, he was awarded an American Institute of Architects Gold Medal and the first Pritzker Architecture Prize, in 1979.
He was a student at the Harvard Graduate School of Design.
Johnson died in his sleep while at the Glass House retreat.

Philip Johnson - Glass House - Interior

Philip Johnson - Glass House

The Glass House or Johnson house, built in 1949 in New Canaan, Connecticut, was designed by Philip Johnson as his own residence and is a masterpiece in the use of glass.
It was an important and influential project for Johnson and for modern architecture.
The building is an essay in minimal structure, geometry, proportion, and the effects of transparency and reflection.
The estate includes other buildings designed by Johnson that span his career.
The house is an example of one of the earliest uses of industrial materials like glass and steel in home design.
Johnson lived at the weekend retreat for 58 years.

Philip Johnson - Glass House

Philip Johnson - Museum of Art

Lomax and (Philo) Jacobson - Rosen House - Brentwood

Neue Nationalgalerie
Meis van der Rohe

Neue Nationalgalerie at the Kulturforum is a museum for modern art in Berlin, with its main focus on the early 20th century.
It is part of the Nationalgalerie of the Staatliche Museen zu Berlin.
The museum building and its sculpture gardens were designed by Ludwig Mies van der Rohe and opened in 1968.

 Museum of Modern Literature
Marbach am Neckar - Germany
David Chipperfield

Wassily Chair - Bauhaus 

The Wassily Chair, also known as the Model B3 chair, was designed by Marcel Breuer in 1925-1926 while he was the head of the cabinet-making workshop at the Bauhaus, in Dessau, Germany.
Despite popular belief, the chair was not designed for the non-objective painter Wassily Kandinsky, who was concurrently on the Bauhaus faculty. However, Kandinsky had admired the completed design, and Breuer fabricated a duplicate for Kandinsky's personal quarters.
The chair became known as "Wassily" decades later, when it was re-released by an Italian manufacturer named Gavina who had learned of the anecdotal Kandinsky connection in the course of its research on the chair's origins.
The chair later known as the "Wassily" was first manufactured in the late 1920s by Thonet, the German-Austrian furniture manufacturer most known for its bent-wood chair designs, under the name Model B3.
It was first available in both a folding and a non-folding versions.

Wagenfeld Lamp WG25 - Bauhaus

Wilhelm Wagenfeld (15 April 1900, Bremen, Germany — 28 May 1990), Stuttgart, Germany), was an important German industrial designer of the 20th Century, disciple of Bauhaus.
He designed glass and metal works for the Jenaer Glaswerk Schott & Gen., the Vereinigte Lausitzer Glaswerke in Weißwasser, Rosenthal, Braun GmbH and WMF. Some of his designs are still produced until these days.
One of his classics is a table lamp, known as Wagenfeld Lampe, 1924, which he designed together with Karl J. Jucker.

Barcelona  Chair - White - Mies  van  der  Rohe

Ludwig Mies van der Rohe (March 27, 1886 – August 17, 1969) was a German architect.
Ludwig Mies van der Rohe, along with Walter Gropius and Le Corbusier, is widely regarded as one of the pioneering masters of Modern architecture. Mies, like many of his post World War I contemporaries, sought to establish a new architectural style that could represent modern times just as Classical and Gothic did for their own eras. He created an influential 20th century architectural style, stated with extreme clarity and simplicity. His mature buildings made use of modern materials such as industrial steel and plate glass to define interior spaces. He strived towards an architecture with a minimal framework of structural order balanced against the implied freedom of free-flowing open space. He called his buildings "skin and bones" architecture. He sought a rational approach that would guide the creative process of architectural design. He is often associated with the aphorisms "less is more" and "God is in the details".
Mies designed modern furniture pieces using new industrial technologies that have become popular classics, such as the Barcelona chair and table, the Brno chair, and the Tugendhat chair. His furniture is known for fine craftsmanship, a mix of traditional luxurious fabrics like leather combined with modern chrome frames, and a distinct separation of the supporting structure and the supported surfaces, often employing cantilevers to enhance the feeling of lightness created by delicate structural frames.

Barcelona  Ottoman  - Mies  van  der  Rohe


Barcelona  Chair  &  Ottoman  - Mies  van  der  Rohe

Barcelona  Table  - Mies  van  der  Rohe

Barcelona  Daybed  - Mies  van  der  Rohe

Corbusier  3  Seat  Sofa

Charles-Édouard Jeanneret, who chose to be known as Le Corbusier; October 6, 1887 – August 27, 1965), was a Swiss architect, designer, urbanist, writer and painter, famous for being one of the pioneers of what now is called Modern architecture or the International style. He was born in Switzerland and became a French citizen in his thirties. His career spanned five decades, with his buildings constructed throughout central Europe, India, Russia, and one each in North and South America.
He was a pioneer in studies of modern high design and was dedicated to  providing better living conditions for the residents of crowded cities.
Le Corbusier adopted his pseudonym in the 1920s, allegedly deriving it in part from the name of a distant ancestor, "Lecorbésier."
Corbusier said: "Chairs are architecture, sofas are bourgeois."
Le Corbusier began experimenting with furniture design in 1928 after inviting the architect, Charlotte Perriand, to join his studio. His cousin, Pierre Jeanneret, also collaborated on many of the designs.
In 1928, Le Corbusier and Perriand began to put the expectations for furniture Le Corbusier outlined in his 1925 book L'Art Décoratif d'aujourd'hui into practice. In the book he defined three different furniture types: type-needstype-furniture, and human-limb objects. He defined human-limb objects as: "Extensions of our limbs and adapted to human functions that are type-needs and type-functions, therefore type-objects and type-furniture. The human-limb object is a docile servant. A good servant is discreet and self-effacing in order to leave his master free. Certainly, works of art are tools, beautiful tools. And long live the good taste manifested by choice, subtlety, proportion, and harmony".
The first results of the collaboration were three chrome-plated tubular steel chairs designed for two of his projects, The Maison la Roche in Paris and a pavilion for Barbara and Henry Church. The line of furniture was expanded for Le Corbusier's 1929 Salon d'Automne installation, Equipment for the Home.
The most famous of these chairs are the now-iconic LC-1, LC-2, LC-3, and LC-4, originally titled "Basculant" (LC-1), "Fauteuil grand confort, petit modèle" (LC-2, "great comfort sofa, small model"), "Fauteil grand confort, grand modèle" (LC-3, "great comfort sofa, large model"), and "Chaise longue" (LC-4, "Long chair", English: "chaise lounge"). The LC-2 and LC-3 are more colloquially referred to as the petit confort and grand confort (abbreviation of full title, and due to respective sizes).
In the year 1964, while Le Corbusier was still alive, Cassina S.p.A. of Milan acquired the exclusive worldwide rights to manufacture his furniture designs. Today many copies exist, but Cassina is still the only manufacturer authorized by the Fondation Le Corbusier.

Corbusier - LC3-2 Seater Sofa

Corbusier - LC2 Single Seat Sofa

LC7 Chair
Le Corbusier



Rosewood and Mahogany 'Helix' Sideboard

Rosewood and Mahogany 'Helix' sideboard designed by David Booth in 1950 for the Festival of Britain show of 1951, design No. R407, enclosed by a pair of Bombay rosewood doors with interwoven lines revealing birch ply, brass ring handles, with a fitted interior on short tapering legs
Labelled on the back 'Gordon Russell of Broadway', purchased in 1951 at The Festival of Britain.

David Francis Santorini - Arm Chair

Mahogany  4-Drawer  Chest - E. Gomme - G-Plan

G-Plan was a pioneering range of furniture in the United Kingdom, produced by E Gomme Ltd of High Wycombe. In 1943, during World War II, furniture was part of rationing in the United Kingdom; the Board of Trade set up the Utility scheme which limited costs and the types of furniture on sale. A small number of simple designs were available in oak or mahogany. This scheme ended in December 1952. This, combined with the Festival of Britain led to a pent-up demand for more modern furniture. In 1953, Donald Gomme, the designer at E Gomme, decided to produce a range of modern furniture for the entire house which could be bought piece by piece according to budgets. Advertising was part of the plan from the beginning. The name was coined by Doris Gundry of the J. Walter Thompson advertising agency, and the furniture was advertised in magazines and in cinemas direct to the public. Designs were available for several years so people could collect them slowly. All furniture was marked with the distinctive brand mark. The success of G-Plan led to E Gomme becoming one of the UK's largest furniture manufacturers, with profits increasing sixfold between 1952 and 1958 when it was floated. Donald Gomme left the company in 1958, perhaps the peak of the company's success. The distinguishing feature of the classic G-Plan style is the fine mohogany case, and the black ebonised chassis, and ebonised legs terminating in brass furrels.

Mahogany  4-Drawer  Chest - E. Gomme - G-Plan


Mahogany  Sideboard - E. Gomme - G-Plan

G Plan Sideboard

G Plan - Tallboy - detail


3-Drawer  Chest - E. Gomme - G-Plan


Sofa - E. Gomme - G-Plan


Mahogany  Coffee  Table - E. Gomme - G-Plan

Tola Bedside Table -  E. Gomme - G-Plan

.Long Coffee Table -  E. Gomme - G-Plan

.Dining Chair -  E. Gomme - G-Plan

Knoll International Style desk c. 1950 


Stag Minstrel Console Table

Stag furniture was a mass market manufacturer that made some outstanding modern designs.
They employed John and Sylvia Reid as design consultants. 
Their first designs for Stag, the 'C' range, were minimalist in the extreme.
Later John and Sylvia Reid designed 'Minstrel', which united eighteenth century elegance and modern day thinking.
Stag Minstrel was one of the most successful ranges of furniture ever produced.

Stag Minstrel furniture was made from makore (or African Cherry), both solid and veneered. 
Stag Minstrel remained in production for nearly forty years.

Stag Minstrel Dressing Table

Stag Minstrel Bedside Tabe

Stag Minstrel Bedside Table

Stag Minstrel Tallboy


Pye 1005 Achoic Stereophonic Projection System

W.G. Pye & Co. Ltd. was founded in 1896 in Cambridge by William George Pye, an employee of the Cavendish Laboratory, as a part time business making scientific instruments. By the outbreak of World War I in 1914 the company employed 40 people manufacturing instruments that were used for teaching and research. The war increased demand for such instruments and the War Office needed experimental thermionic valves. The manufacture of these components afforded the company the technical knowledge that it needed to develop the first wireless receiver when the first UK broadcasts were made by the BBC in 1922. Instruments continued to be designed and manufactured under W G Pye Ltd, later situated in York Street Cambridge, while a separate company was started to build wireless components in a factory at Church Path, Chesterton.
In February 1944 Pye formed a specialist division called Pye Telecommunications Ltd which it intended would design and produce radio communications equipment when the war ended. This company developed, prospered and grew to become the leading UK producer of mobile radio equipment for commercial, business, industrial, police and government purposes.
In recent years the Pye brand has enjoyed a resurgence on the UK market , with domestic products including DVD recorders. The Pye brand is one of a handful surviving today from the early domestic electronics era that dates to before World War II.

West German 1950s Blaupunkt Stereo-gram

1957  Bush Portable Radio

Philco D-597 Radio

Doney 14 inch Monochrome Television Set

Großer  Mercedes  -  Mercedes-Benz  770K

Mercedes-Benz is a German manufacturer of automobiles, buses, coaches, and trucks. Mercedes-Benz is a division of its parent company, Daimler AG.
Mercedes-Benz traces its origins to Karl Benz's creation of the first petrol-powered car, the Benz Patent Motorwagen, patented in  January of 1886 and Gottlieb Daimler and engineer Wilhelm Maybach's conversion of a stagecoach by the addition of a petrol engine later that year. The Mercedes automobile was first marketed in 1901 by Daimler Motoren Gesellschaft. The first Mercedes-Benz brand name vehicles were produced in 1926, following the merger of Karl Benz's and Gottlieb Daimler's companies into the Daimler-Benz companyMercedes-Benz has introduced many technological and safety innovations that later became common in other vehicles. Mercedes-Benz is one of the most well-known and established automotive brands in the world, and is also the world's oldest automotive brand still in existence today.
Adolf Hitler was known for his love of luxury cars and ordered a succession of custom vehicles from Mercedes, culminating in the 770K  model of 1941, which was rumoured to weigh up to five tonnes.


1961 Vauxhall


Sir Alec Issigonis - 1959 Mini

The Mini is a small car that was made by the British Motor Corporation (BMC) and its successors from 1959 until 2000.
The original is considered a British icon of the 1960s, and its space-saving front-wheel-drive layout (which allowed 80% of the area of the car's floorpan to be used for passengers and luggage) influenced a generation of car-makers.
The vehicle is in some ways considered the British equivalent to its German contemporary, the Volkswagen Beetle, which enjoyed similar popularity in North America.
In 1999 the Mini was voted the second most influential car of the 20th Century, behind the Ford Model T.
This distinctive two-door car was designed for BMC by Sir Alec Issigonis.
It was manufactured at the Longbridge and Cowley plants in England, the Victoria Park / Zetland British Motor Corporation (Australia) factory in Sydney, Australia, and later also in Spain (Authi), Belgium, Chile, Italy (Innocenti), Portugal, South Africa, Uruguay, Venezuela and Yugoslavia. The Mini Mark I had three major UK updates: the Mark II, the Clubman and the Mark III. Within these was a series of variations including an estate car, a pick-up truck, a van and the Mini Moke—a jeep-like buggy.
The Mini Cooper and Cooper "S" were sportier versions that were successful as rally cars, winning the Monte Carlo Rally four times from 1964 through to 1967, although in 1966 the Mini was disqualified after the finish, along with six other British entrants, which included the first four cars to finish, under a questionable ruling that the cars had used an illegal combination of headlamps and spotlights.
Initially Minis were marketed under the Austin and Morris names, as the Austin Seven and Morris Mini Minor, until Mini became a marque in its own right in 1969.
The Mini was again marketed under the Austin name in the 1980s.


Packard Two-Tone Caribbean - 1955

1964 Dodge Dart GT Convertible

1964 Dodge Custom 880 Convertible

Chrysler New Yorker - 1959


1950 Lincoln Continental Concept Car



Lincoln Continental Mark II -1956 


1961 - Lincoln Continental

The Lincoln Continental was an automobile produced by the Lincoln division of Ford Motor Company from 1939 to 1948 and again from 1956 to 2002. Despite often sharing underpinnings with less-expensive Fords in more recent years, the Lincoln Continental had usually been a distinctively platformed and styled, highly equipped luxury car in the course of its long history.
The flagship Lincoln model during most of its run, the Continental name conveyed special cachet in the product line.

Lincoln Continental Mark III - 1968 

© Copyright Zac Sawyer 2014

Cadillac Eldorado Biarritz 1959

Cadillac is a luxury vehicle marque owned by General Motors. Cadillac vehicles are sold in over 50 countries and territories, but mainly in North America.

© Copyright Zac Sawyer 2014

Cadillac is currently the second oldest American automobile manufacturer behind Buick and among the oldest automobile brands in the world. Depending on how one chooses to measure, Cadillac is arguably older than Buick.

1953 Cadillac Eldorado

1957 Cadillac Eldorado Brougham

Cadillac Eldorado - 1959

Cadillac  Advertisement  -  1960s

Cadillac Eldorado Brougham - 1957 

1958 - Cadillac Eldorado Seville

1958 - Cadillac Eldorado Seville - Interior

Cadillac Eldorado Brougham - 1957 
Classic Chrome Opulence 

Dagmar bumpers, also known simply as Dagmars (dag-mar), is a slang term for the artillery shell shaped styling elements found on the front bumper/grille assemblies on several makes of cars produced in the 1950s, an era recognized for its flamboyant designs and prominent use of chrome details.
The term was coined by customizers in direct reference to Dagmar, an early 1950s television personality well known for her pronounced cleavage on Broadway Open House.
Dagmar's physical attributes were further enhanced by low-cut gowns and the shape of her bra cups, which were somewhat conical. She was amused by the tribute.
As originally conceived by Harley Earl, GM Vice President of Design, the bumper guard elements would mimick exaggerated artillery shells and were placed at either end of the front bumpers of Cadillacs.
Their presence was both as a styling element indicating speed (as in the speeding bullet or projectile) and as bumper guards.
However as the 1950s wore on, the element on the Cadillac grew more pronounced, and in 1957 the Cadillac Eldorado Brougham gained black rubber tips, which were referred to in slang terms as "pasties".

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Boeing  377  Stratocruiser

The Boeing 377 Stratocruiser was a long-range postwar airliner with four piston-driven engines. It was a civilian equivalent to the C-97 Stratofreighter, and was developed largely in parallel with its military sibling.
The "inverted-figure-8" double-deck fuselage design provided 6,600 ft³ (187 m³) of interior space where the lower deck had a smaller diameter than the upper deck. It offered seating for over 100 passengers, or sleeping berths for up to 28 berthed and five seated passengers.
It first flew on July 8, 1947. It had the speed and range to span ocean routes, enabling flying from New York to Hawaii in less than 24 hours. Pressurization (previously introduced on the Boeing Stratoliner and also designed into the B-29) allowed sea-level cabin pressure at 15,500 ft (4,700 m)  altitude.
At 25,000 ft (7,600 m), passengers enjoyed a "cabin altitude" of only 5,500 ft (1,700 m).
The Stratocruiser flew premier services to Hawaii, across both oceans, and elsewhere in the world until superseded in the 1960s by jets such as the Boeing 707 and de Havilland Comet. Its spiral staircase, which led to a lower-deck lounge, and it was one of the few airliners with a double-decker seating arrangement (another was the French Breguet Deux-Ponts).

BOAC Boeing Stratocruiser Soeedbird

Horton - Ho 229

The Horten H.IX, RLM designation Ho 229 (often called Gotha Go 229 due to the identity of the chosen manufacturer of the aircraft) was a late-World War II prototype fighter/bomber designed by Reimar and Walter Horten and built by Gothaer Waggonfabrik.
It was the first pure flying wing powered by a jet engine and designed to be more difficult to detect with radar - the first aircraft  to incorporate what is now known as stealth technology.
It was a personal favorite of German Luftwaffe chief Reichsmarschall Hermann Göring, and was the only aircraft to come close to meeting his "3x1000" performance requirements, namely to carry 1000kg of bombs a distance of 1000km with a speed of 1000km/h. Its speed was estimated at 1,024 km/h (636 mph) and its ceiling 15,000 meters (49,213 ft).

Dreamchaser  Spacecraft

The Dream Chaser is a planned crewed suborbital and orbital vertical-takeoff, horizontal-landing (VTHL) lifting-body spaceplane   being developed by SpaceDev, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Sierra Nevada Corporation (SNC).
The Dream Chaser design is planned to carry seven people to and from low earth orbit. The vehicle would launch vertically on an Atlas V and land horizontally on conventional runways.
On October 11, 2010 SNC announced it had achieved two critical milestones for NASA's CCDev program. The first consisted of three successful test firings of a single hybrid rocket motor in one day. The second milestone was the completion of the primary tooling necessary to build the composite structure of the Dream Chaser vehicle.

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