• PrintMag

When American Industry Was Great

In 1938, when General Motors was indeed a general among industries, their Department of Public Relations proudly issued booklets that celebrated while it informed the public. Using automotive progress as the lynch-pin – indeed cars were the hub of American industrial and economic dominance – the books focused on how design, invention, engineering and production were at its height.

Titles, including “Chemistry and Wheels,” “Diesel: The Modern Power,” “Putting Progress Through Its Paces” and “Modes and Motors,” among others were designed anonymously but with modern flair. “Paces” includes streamline photomontages that typify the image of 30s industrial might. “Modes” heralds the vernacular of design as art.  Here is a small sampling.

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