Henry Dreyfuss collection,
1927-1972
SIL-CH.1972-88-332-4

Summary
Collection ID:
SIL-CH.1972-88-332-4
Creators:
Dreyfuss, Henry, 1904-1972
Dates:
1927-1972
Languages:
English
Physical Description:
130 cubic feet
Repository:
Smithsonian Libraries
This material does not cover all clients and projects undertaken by Dreyfuss. This collection consists of theater design materials, industrial design materials, primarily, though not exclusively, from the 1950s and 60s, draft copies of his books, including extensive research files for the "Symbol Sourcebook," texts of lectures delivered by Dreyfuss, and biographical material. Included is Dreyfuss's Brown Book which provides an outline of his achievements. Photographs and slides of many of his designs are included. Materials relating to three publications include original drafts of the books with author notes, drawings, photographs, correspondence, and research materials. Also contains materials relating to the symbols exhibition held at the Hallmark Gallery in New York City in 1972.This collection was the source of many of the objects and issues addressed in Cooper-Hewitt's 1997 exhibition, "Henry Dreyfuss: Directing Design", and companion book, "Henry Dreyfuss, Industrial Designer: The Man in the Brown Suit", both conceived by Russell Flinchum. 311 reels of microfilm documenting most of the projects undertaken by Dreyfuss Associates were created by the firm and added to the collection later.

Arrangement note
Arrangement note
Materials are arranged into four record groups: 1) Biographical information; 2) Theater design; 3) Industrial design; and 4) Publications.
The biographical material is arranged into four sub groups:1) Lectures and Articles by Dreyfuss; 2) Articles about Dreyfuss; 3) Dreyfuss firm promotional mailings; and 4) Other material (photos, awards, etc.).Each sub-group is filed chronologically.
The Industrial Design records are divided into two sub groups:Early Industrial Design, 1929-1935, and Industrial Design, 1936-1969, and arearranged alphabetically by client name.
The publication materials arearranged alphabetically by title of publication.

Biographical/Historical note
Biographical/Historical note
Industrial and stage designer. Born New York, March 2, 1904. Attended Society for Ethical Culture High School in New York. Apprenticed to designer Norman Bel Geddes, 1922-1924. Established his own industrial design firm in 1929. His clients included Bell Telephone Laboratories, Deere & Company, Honeywell, Inc., Polaroid Corporation, General Electric, the 1939-40 and 1964-65 New York World's Fairs, New York Central Railroad, Hoover Company, Singer Sewing Machine Company, Royal Typewriter Co., Lockheed Aircraft, McCall's magazine, and others.
Dreyfuss was a founding member of the Society of Industrial Designers, and the first president of the Industrial Designers Society of America. He is best known for his designs for the Bell 500 and Trimline telephones, the Westclox Big Ben alarm clock, Deere & Company tractors, Polaroid's Automatic 100, Swinger, and SX-70 Land Cameras, and New York Central Railroad's 1938 Twentieth Century Limited. In the 1950s, Dreyfuss was one of the pioneers in the application of anthropometrics (the study of human dimensions and capabilities) in his designs. In 1969, Dreyfuss retired from his firm, but remained active as a corporate consultant. He was the author of several important books including: "Designing for People", 1955; "Measure of Man", 1959; and "Symbol Sourcebook", 1972.

Administration
Existence and Location of Copies note
A portion of this collection is available on microfiche.
Author
Immediate Source of Acquisition note
Henry Dreyfuss and Doris Marks donated his papers to Cooper-Hewitt, National Design Museum, in the fall of 1972.
Additional materials were transferred to the museum in 1973 from the University of California at Los Angeles, which held a small collection of material deeded by Henry Dreyfuss in 1962.
311 reels of microfilm were donated to the museum in 1992.

Using the Collection
Conditions Governing Access note
Unrestricted research use onsite by appointment. Permission of staff required to photograph material.

Location of Other Archival Materials Note
Location of Other Archival Materials Note
Cooper-Hewitt, National Design Museum, Applied Arts Department. Models and realized objects including control knobs for GM and Deere vehicles, plastic plates and various ceramic pieces with international symbols, Trimline telephones, an RCA Victor radio, a Westclox "Big Ben" alarm clock, and a Presco "AirClip" hair clipper.
Location of Other Archival Materials Note
Cooper-Hewitt, National Design Museum, Drawings and Prints Department. Hundreds of drawings of designs for tractors, train, plane, and ship interiors, television and radio cabinets, product labels, logos, packaging, office buildings, and costumes.
Location of Other Archival Materials Note
Other archival repositories containing Dreyfuss materials include: AT&T Archives, Warren, New Jersey; Deere & Co. Archives, Moline, Iowa; Honeywell Archives, Minneapolis, MN; Hoover Company, Canton, Ohio; Polaroid Archives, Cambridge, MA; Billy Rose Theater Collection, New York Public Library; Ethical Culture/Fieldson School Archives, New York; New York Central System Historical Society, Inc.
Location of Other Archival Materials Note
United Scenic Artists Local 829 Archives, New York; New York World's Fair 1939-40 Archives, Manuscript Division, New York Public Library; and San Diego Aerospace Museum Archives.

Other Finding Aids note
Other Finding Aids note
71-page Research Guide.

Keywords
Keywords table of terms and types.
Keyword Terms Keyword Types
Bell Telephone Laboratories. Corporate Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Cooper-Hewitt Design Archive. Corporate Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Deere & Company. Corporate Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Dreyfuss, Henry, 1904-1972 Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
General Electric Company. Corporate Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Henry Dreyfuss Associates. Corporate Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Honeywell Inc. Corporate Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Hoover Company. Corporate Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Industrial Designers Society of America. Corporate Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Lockheed Aircraft Corporation. Corporate Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
New York Central Railroad Company. Corporate Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Polaroid Corporation. Corporate Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Royal Typewriter Company. Corporate Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Singer Sewing Machine Company Corporate Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Westclox. Corporate Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
20th Century Limited (Express train) Subject Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Anthropometry Subject Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Biographies Genre/Form Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Book drafts Genre/Form Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Client lists Genre/Form Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Clippings Genre/Form Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Correspondence Genre/Form Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Design, Industrial--United States Subject Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Designing for People Subject Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Drawings Genre/Form Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Human engineering Subject Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Industrial designers--United States Occupation Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Journal Genre/Form Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
McCall's magazine Title Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Measure of Man Subject Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Mechanicals Genre/Form Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Photographs Genre/Form Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Renderings Genre/Form Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Reports Genre/Form Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Set design--United States Subject Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Signs ad symbols Subject Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Slides Genre/Form Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Speeches Genre/Form Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Symbol Sourcebook Subject Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Telephone Subject Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Theater designers--United States Occupation Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Thermostats Subject Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Tractors--United States--History Subject Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Trimline telephone Subject Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid

Repository Contact
Smithsonian Libraries
Smithsonian Libraries
P.O. Box 37012
NMAH 1041, MRC 672
Washington, DC, 20013-7012
Phone: (202) 633-3872
libmail@si.edu