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Sheet Steel for Better Homes

1930s (made)
Place of origin

20 pages colour illustrations 215 mm

Object details

Object type
TitleSheet Steel for Better Homes (published title)
Materials and techniques
Single section in paper cover secured with two wire stitches through centre of spine fold
Brief description
Sheet Steel for Better Homes. British Steelwork Association, 1930s
Physical description
20 pages colour illustrations 215 mm
  • Length: 215mm (closed) (Note: Measured by Book Conservation in measuring box)
  • Width: 140mm (closed) (Note: Measured by Book Conservation in measuring box)
  • Depth: 3mm (closed) (Note: Measured by Book Conservation in measuring box)
Production typeMass produced
Gallery label
Sheet steel for better homes London, 1930s Modernist architecture used steel, glass and concrete to create lighter and cleaner homes in taller buildings. The axonometric plan on the cover of this booklet shows a new flat with steel components marked in red. The flat has not only a steel supporting framework, but also door- and window-frames, and trims such as picture rails. Steel was a modern alternative to wood: not only stronger but also proof against fire and vermin. Halftone and screenprint Issued by the British Steelwork Association Museum no. 38041800898447(2018)
Credit line
Acquired from the British Steelwork Association (London), December 1937.
Object history
From a collection of examples of commercial printing and design including catalogues and books as well as a variety of ephemera such as magazine covers, promotional cards, loose sheets, book plates, book jackets, trade cards, advertisement proofs, wine labels, menu cards etc. Firms include Shell-Mex, Austin Reed, Guinness, Heals, Imperial Airways, Orient Line. Designers include McKnight Kauffer, El Lissitsky, Bawden, Bayer, Gill, Tschichold. Categories of material include architecture, broadcasting, costume, interior design, motor industry, food and drink.

In 1936 the National Art Library decided to lay the foundations of a "collection of commercial typography and to exhibit contemporary specimens from time to time so that the trend of typographic design, both in this country and abroad, could be appraised by students of industrial art". The Keeper of the Library, Philip James was largely instrumental in acquiring the material. The bulk of the collection consists of examples from the 1930s, especially 1936 - 1939, with a smattering of items from the 1940s.
The collection is further supplemented with material from the 1960s which the Library inherited from the Circulation Department of the Museum after its closure in 1978. As these two groups of material stand as historic collections in their own right, any further examples acquired by the Library have been catalogued individually and not added to this designated 'closed collection'.
Other numbers
  • Jobbing Printing Box 8 a - NAL Pressmark
  • 904843 - Horizon bib. number
Library number

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Record createdApril 15, 2016
Record URL
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