Walter Dorwin Teague

 

1883-1960

Airplanes, cameras, glassware, mimeograph machines, gas stations and missiles.

What this unlikely group of items have in common is that all were products assigned to Walter Dorwin Teague and his son for design changes.  Their clients included Kodak, A. B. Dick, Steuben's, Boeing, Texaco and Steinway Pianos.

Walter Teague is the man who came up with the idea of covering the exterior of Texaco gas stations in white porcelain, a familiar sight in the 1930s-50s.  He was also the designer of Kodak's first Brownie cameras, and Polaroid's first Land camera.

Teague Associates continues in operation today, based in Seattle, Washington, working with Hewlett-Packard, Microsoft and Boeing.

 

In 1940 Teague published a book, Design this Day; a Technique of Order in the Machine Age.

A native of Decatur, Indiana, 20 year old Walter Dorwin Teague moved to New York City to study at the Art Students League in 1903.  While a student he worked as a sign painter, developing an expert eye for typography.   By 1911 he'd set up his own shop and was working as a freelance commercial artist for such agencies as Calkins & Holden.

During a 1926 trip to Europe he became enthusiastic about the architectural work of Le Corbusier and thereafter concentrated on product and package design.  In the early 1940s he joined with Norman Bel-Geddes, Raymond Loewy and Henry Dreyfuss to establish the Society of Industrial Designers.

 

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