Monday, March 26, 2018

Damsels In Design

Regrettably and to the detriment of American manufacturing, women designers seldom received credit for their incredible work during the middle of the 20th Century.

The American automotive industry was a man’s game and women were seldom asked to participate.

And yet, if it were not for women designers of that era many of the innovative, practical and eye-pleasing designs of automobile interiors and exteriors would not have existed.

Unlike most men whose ideas of an automobile tended to be on the more practical and barebones side, women designers paid to attention to the aesthetics.

Color and fabric selection, eye and feel appeal of dashes, seats, interior details, exterior accessories such as chrome and body style and many more design considerations were pioneered by women designers.

With the ever increasing inclusion of women in the work force, a higher standard of living, free time and wages that afforded small luxuries women obtained a larger say in everyday purchases and drove manufacturers to cater to their wants and needs.

Men may have been the breadwinners but women ruled the roost and the household budget.

In author Constance A Smith’s new book: Damsels In Design, from Schiffer Books, readers are taken on a trip back in time to witness women pioneers in the automotive industry from 1939 to 1959.

Key women designers are given full credit for their creations and contributions accompanied by fascinating text, lots of vintage photographs, concept sketches and illustrations and close-ups of car interiors and exteriors designed by women.

It is an absolutely fascinating book of a bygone era where the seeds of change had been planted to eventually bloom to full blossom in the decades to follow.