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Norman Bel Geddes

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Nationality  American
Name  Norman Geddes

Role  Industrial designer
Norman Bel Geddes Norman Bel Geddes exhibition39s designs that shaped modern
Born  27 April 1893 (1893-04-27) Adrian, Michigan, U.S.
Occupation  Theatrical DesignerIndustrial designer
Notable work  Airliner Number 4FuturamaMark I computer case
Died  May 8, 1958, New York City, New York, United States
Children  Barbara Bel Geddes, Joan Bel Geddes Ulanov
Spouse  Edith Lutyens (m. 1953–1958), Helen Belle (m. 1916–1925)
Parents  Flora Luelle, Clifton Terry Geddes
Books  Magic motorways, Horizons, Miracle in the evening, Hospitality and Tourism L

Grandchildren  Betsy Lewis, Susan Sawyer

Similar  Walter Dorwin Teague, Barbara Bel Geddes, Henry Dreyfuss

i have seen the future norman bel geddes designs america

Norman Melancton ("Big Norm") Bel Geddes (April 27, 1893 – May 8, 1958) was an American theatrical and industrial designer.


Norman Bel Geddes Airliner Number 4 Keith Thomson

Norman bel geddes

Early life

Bel Geddes was born Norman Melancton Geddes in Adrian, Michigan, and raised in New Philadelphia, Ohio, the son of Flora Luelle (née Yingling) and Clifton Terry Geddes, a stockbroker. When he married Helen Belle Schneider in 1916, they incorporated their names to Bel Geddes. Their daughters were actress Barbara Bel Geddes and writer Joan Ulanov.


Norman Bel Geddes Norman Bel Geddes Wikipedia the free encyclopedia

Bel Geddes began his career with set designs for Aline Barnsdall's Los Angeles Little Theater in the 1916-17 season, then in 1918 as the scene designer for the Metropolitan Opera in New York. He designed and directed various theatrical works, from Arabesque and The Five O'Clock Girl on Broadway to an ice show, It Happened on Ice, produced by Sonja Henie. He also created set designs for the film Feet of Clay (1924), directed by Cecil B. DeMille, designed costumes for Max Reinhardt, and created the sets for the Broadway production of Sidney Kingsley's Dead End (1935).

Norman Bel Geddes Norman Bel Geddes Designs America by Donald Albrecht 2012

Bel Geddes opened an industrial-design studio in 1927, and designed a wide range of commercial products, from cocktail shakers to commemorative medallions to radio cabinets. His designs extended to unrealized futuristic concepts: a teardrop-shaped automobile, and an Art Deco House of Tomorrow. In 1929, he designed "Airliner Number 4," a 9-deck amphibian airliner that incorporated areas for deck-games, an orchestra, a gymnasium, a solarium, and two airplane hangars.

Norman Bel Geddes httpsuploadwikimediaorgwikipediacommonscc

His book Horizons (1932) had a significant impact: "By popularizing streamlining when only a few engineers were considering its functional use, he made possible the design style of the thirties." He wrote forward-looking articles for popular American periodicals.

Bel Geddes designed the General Motors Pavilion, known as Futurama, for the 1939 New York World's Fair. For that famous and enormously influential installation, Bel Geddes exploited his earlier work in the same vein: he had designed a "Metropolis City of 1960" in 1936.

Bel Geddes's book Magic Motorways (1940) promoted advances in highway design and transportation, foreshadowing the Interstate Highway System ("there should be no more reason for a motorist who is passing through a city to slow down than there is for an airplane which is passing over it"), along with aspects of driver assist and autonomous driving.

The case for the Mark I computer was designed by Norman Bel Geddes. IBM's Thomas Watson presented it to Harvard. At the time, some saw it as a waste of resources, since computing power was in high demand during this part of World War II and those funds could have been used to build additional equipment.

Bel Geddes died on May 8, 1958, in New York, New York. His autobiography, Miracle in the Evening, was published posthumously in 1960.


The archive of Norman Bel Geddes is held by the Harry Ransom Center at the University of Texas at Austin. This large collection includes models, drafts, watercolor designs, research notes, project proposals, and correspondence. The Ransom Center also holds the papers of Bel Geddes' wife, the noted costume designer and producer Edith Lutyens Bel Geddes.


  • The United States Postal Service celebrated the First-Day-Of-Issue for a commemorative U.S. postage stamp honoring Bel Geddes as a "Pioneer Of American Industrial Design" on June 29, 2011 at the Cooper-Hewitt National Design Museum in NYC.
  • The Museum of the City of New York presented an exhibition of his works during the winter of 2013-2014, on loan from the Harry Ransom Center at the University of Texas at Austin, which was on view during the summer of 2014 at The Wolfsonian-Florida International University in Miami Beach.
  • Norman Bel Geddes is a member of the American Theater Hall of Fame, a distinction he shares with his daughter, Barbara Bel Geddes.
  • References

    Norman Bel Geddes Wikipedia