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Streamliner

Meat Slicer
After 1944 (made)
Artist/Maker
Place of origin

American design in the 1930s was increasingly influenced by notions of styling. As Norman Bel Geddes, one of the leading stylists observed, styling addressed the `psychological' dimension of design to `appeal to the consumer's vanity and play upon his imagination'. One of the devices employed by stylists was streamlining; while offering a symbol of science and rationality, it was also used to appeal to irrational desires and thereby seduce potential customers. although streamlining had been actively employed for some years, Norman Bel Geddes's book, Horizons(1932) did much to popularize the style.
listen Inside the 'Cars: Accelerating the Modern World' exhibition How has the design of the car shaped the world as we know it?
read Streamlined design: speed becomes style
Object details
Categories
Object type
Materials and techniques
Aluminium, cast and in sheet form, steel slicing disc, four rubber feet.
Brief description
Meat slicer, 'Streamliner', Aluminium, steel and rubber, designed by Egmont Arens and Theodore C. Brookhart in 1940, manufactured by Hobart manufacturing Co from 1944.
Physical description
Meat slicer, cast and sheet aluminium, steel slicer driven by an electric motor, resting on four rubber feet. Cast aluminium flat bed rising in one corner to an elliptical dome which houses the electric motor which drives a circular, steel blade. The blade is shielded on one side by a flared, trumpet shaped cast aluminium housing with cut out sections. Facing the cutting blade, a three sided, cast aluminium platform, canted at a 45° angle for holding the meat, which is pressed against the blade by a semi-circular clamp, studded on the side facing the blade, operated by a ridged, bar handle and attached so that it slides along a horizontal, tubular bar. At the rear, a toggle switch to turn the motor on or off and an adjustable lever with a graduated scale to adjust the thickness of the slice. With 4 spare feet.
Dimensions
  • Height: 32cm
  • Length: 50cm
  • Width: 42cm
Marks and inscriptions
  • HOBART (In black lettering on the motor housing.)
  • Graduated scale for adjusting the thickness of the slice. (In black lettering)
Credit line
Given by the American Friends of the V&A through the generosity of Edgar Harden.
Summary
American design in the 1930s was increasingly influenced by notions of styling. As Norman Bel Geddes, one of the leading stylists observed, styling addressed the `psychological' dimension of design to `appeal to the consumer's vanity and play upon his imagination'. One of the devices employed by stylists was streamlining; while offering a symbol of science and rationality, it was also used to appeal to irrational desires and thereby seduce potential customers. although streamlining had been actively employed for some years, Norman Bel Geddes's book, Horizons(1932) did much to popularize the style.
Bibliographic reference
Benton, Charlotte, Tim Benton and Ghislaine Wood eds. Art Deco 1910-1939. London; Victoria and Albert Museum, 2003. p.364. ill. ISBN 1851773878
Other number
LOAN:AMERICANFRIENDS.428-2005 - Previous loan number
Collection
Accession number
M.222-2011

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Record createdJune 24, 2009
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