Tag: Sears

Modern by Design: Chicago Streamlines America (New Exhibit Coming to the Chicago History Museum)

[all photos courtesy of the Chicago History Museum]

A fantastic new exhibit is about to open at my favorite museum in Chicago!  On October 27th, 2018, the Chicago History Museum is presenting an exhibit called, “Modern by Design:  Chicago Streamlines America“.  The exhibit is a salute to Chicago designers and manufacturer’s that brought modern design to the American market.

The exhibit will include about 300 objects, photographs, and documents from the 1930’s through the 1950’s. During that time-frame, Chicago companies were embracing ‘modern’ technology and incorporating it into all kinds of products for the American household.  It was known as, “Streamline Design“.  Have you seen this type of design before? You probably have and maybe didn’t know that its roots were from Chicago (I didn’t know that until recently and I’ve seen this design in some vintage stores in Canada).

I find these decades absolutely fascinating, and the Streamline Design is really unique (and was very popular in the 30’s through the 50’s).  Some of the items on display will include:

  • Streamlined products and appliances by Chicago manufacturers such as:  Sears, Sunbeam, and Montgomery Ward’s
  • Advertisements for the famous, “Wrigley Chewing Gum”
  • Tubular Steel Furniture designed by Wolfgang Hoffmann for the W.W. Howell Company:

  • Not just for the modern home, there are also Streamline Design products for radio, such as microphones:

If you are in Chicago or planning a trip here, I would highly recommend seeing this exhibit (and the entire museum, for that matter).  This particular exhibit will run until December 1st, 2019.  For more information about the Streamline Design Exhibit and the Chicago History Museum in general, here is their website:

Chicago History Museum

Or if you’d prefer to call, their number is:  (312) 642-4600.

I’m going to visit this exhibit shortly after it opens, so I’ll be sure and take lots of pictures to share with you!

Dr. Eric Perry, PhD

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