Contemporary design from 1800 – the present

Posts tagged “Jewellery

GREAT ART – Contemporary Design

Design elements and principles describe fundamental ideas about the practice of good visual design that are assumed to be the basis of all intentional visual design strategies.
The elements form the ‘vocabulary’ of the design, while the principles constitute the broader structural aspects of its composition.
Awareness of the elements and principles in design is the first step in creating successful visual compositions.
These principles, which may overlap, are used in all visual design fields, including graphic design, industrial design, architecture and fine art.
Design is the organized arrangement of one or more elements and principles (e.g. line color or texture) for a purpose.
The secret of great design in the classical arts is the ‘Sectio Aurea’
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The Sectio Aurea

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Two quantities are in the golden section (Latin: sectio aurea) if the ratio of the sum of the quantities to the larger quantity is equal to the ratio of the larger quantity to the smaller one. The golden ratio is an irrational mathematical constant, approximately 1.6180339887.
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At least since the Renaissance[citation needed], many artists and architects have proportioned their works[citation needed] to approximate the golden ratio—especially in the form of the golden rectangle, in which the ratio of the longer side to the shorter is the golden ratio—believing this proportion to be aesthetically pleasing.
Mathematicians have studied the golden ratio because of its unique and interesting properties. The golden ratio is also used in the analysis of financial markets, in strategies such as Fibonacci retracement.
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The Construction of the Golden Rectangle




Mathematician Mark Barr proposed using the first letter in the name of Greek sculptor Phidias, phi, to symbolize the golden ratio.

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‘Vitruvian Man’

Related to the sectio aurea, as an aid to classic design, is Leonardo’s ‘Vitruvian Man’.
The Vitruvian Man is a world-renowned drawing created by Leonardo da Vinci around the year 1487.
It is accompanied by notes based on the work of the famed architect, Vitruvius.
The drawing, which is in pen and ink on paper, depicts a male figure in two superimposed positions with his arms and legs apart and simultaneously inscribed in a circle and square.
The drawing and text are sometimes called the Canon of Proportions or, less often, Proportions of Man.
The drawing is based on the correlations of ideal human proportions with geometry described by the ancient Roman architect Vitruvius in Book III of his treatise De Architectura.
Vitruvius described the human figure as being the principal source of proportion among the Classical orders of architecture.
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Relief based on the Vitruvian Man

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Classicism, in the arts, refers generally to a high regard for classical antiquity, as setting standards for taste which the classicists seek to emulate.
The art of classicism typically seeks to be formal and restrained: of the Discobolus Sir Kenneth Clark observed, “if we object to his restraint and compression we are simply objecting to the classicism of classic art. A violent emphasis or a sudden acceleration of rhythmic movement would have destroyed those qualities of balance and completeness through which it retained until the present century its position of authority in the restricted repertoire of visual images.”
Classicism, as Clark noted, implies a canon of widely accepted ideal forms. Classicism is a force which is often present in post-medieval European and European influenced traditions; however, some periods felt themselves more connected to the classical ideals than others, particularly the Age of Reason, the Age of Enlightenment, and some classicizing movements in Modernism.

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The Empire style, sometimes considered the second phase of Neoclassicism, is an early-19th-century design movement in architecture, furniture, other decorative arts, and the visual arts followed in Europe and America until around 1830, although in the U. S. it continued in popularity in conservative regions outside the major metropolitan centers well past the mid-nineteenth century.
The style originated in and takes its name from the rule of Napoleon I, known as the First French Empire, where it was intended to idealize Napoleon’s leadership and the French state. The style corresponds to the Biedermeier style in the German-speaking lands, Federal style in the United States and to the Regency style in Britain. An earlier phase of the style was called the Adam style in Great Britain and “Louis Seize” or Louis XVI, in France.
Two french architects, Charles Percier and Pierre Fontaine, were together the creators of the French Empire style. The two had studied in Rome and in the 1790s became leading furniture designers in Paris, where they received many commissions from Napoleon and other statesmen.
The Empire style was based on aspects of the Roman Empire and its many archaeological treasures which had been rediscovered starting in the 18th century. The preceding Louis XVI and Directoire styles employed straighter, simpler designs in comparison with the Rococo style of the 18th century. Empire designs heavily influenced the American Federal style (such as the United States Capitol building), and both were forms of propaganda through architecture. It was a style of the people, not ostentatious but sober and evenly balanced. The style was considered to have “liberated” and “enlightened” architecture just as Napoleon “liberated” the peoples of Europe with his Napoleonic Code.
The Empire period was popularized by the inventive designs of Percier and Fontaine, Napoleon’s architects for Malmaison. The designs drew heavily for inspiration on symbols and ornaments borrowed from the glorious ancient Greek and Roman empires. Buildings typically had simple timber frames and box-like constructions, veneered in expensive mahogany imported from the colonies. Biedermeier furniture also made use of ebony details, originally due to financial constraints. Ormolu details (gilded bronze furniture mounts and embellishments) displayed a high level of craftsmanship.








PERCIER ET FONTAINE

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Percier et Fontaine – Napoleons Throne

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Percier and Fontaine was a noted partnership between French architects Charles Percier and Pierre François Léonard Fontaine. Together, Percier and Fontaine were inventors and major proponents of the rich and grand, consciously archaeological versions of neoclassicism we recognize as Directoire style and Empire style.
Following Charles Percier’s death in 1838, Fontaine designed a tomb in their characteristic style in the Pere Lachaise Cemetery. Percier and Fontaine had lived together as well as being colleagues. Fontaine married late in life and after his death in 1853 his wife placed his body in the same tomb according to his wishes.
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 Percier et Fontaine

Throne Room


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Percier et Fontaine

Bed

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 Percier et Fontaine

Covered Dish 

gift from Napoleon to his sister Pauline

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THOMAS HOPE

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Thomas Hope – Campaign Stool

Thomas Hope (1769–1831) was influential as a designer, design reformer and collector. A Dutchman, born in Amsterdam, Hope inherited from his family a tradition of collecting as well as vast wealth from the family bank. He was a collector on a grand scale and also an innovative designer of great genius who helped define what we understand as the Regency style.
His extensive Grand Tour travels in Europe, Greece, Turkey and Egypt inspired his interest in antiquities as a source of designs for Regency interiors, furniture and metalwork. He was determined to reform contemporary taste by returning architecture and the arts, including interior design and furniture, to what he conceived as the spirit of classical purity.
In 1799 he bought a house designed by Robert Adam in Duchess Street, Portland Place, London, which he remodelled with a series of themed interiors. The colourful interiors of Duchess Street and of Hope’s country house, Deepdene in Surrey, played a unique role in the history of collecting, interior design and display. Both were open to select visitors, but his furniture reached an even wider public through his book, Household Furniture and Interior Decoration. Published in 1807, this book introduced the term ‘interior decoration’ into the English language.
Hope’s influence continued long after his death, partly because of his book.
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Thomas Hope

Pedestal Table

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Thomas Hope

Vase

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Thomas Hope

Pair of Arm Chairs

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Thomas Hope

 Campaign Stool


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Thomas Hope

Imperial Sofa

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 Thomas Hope

 Crossover Stool

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Thomas Hope

Egyptian Sofa

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Thomas Hope

Lotus Stool

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Thomas Hope

Backless Sofa

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Neoclassical architecture was an architectural style produced by the neoclassical movement that began in the mid-18th century, manifested both in its details as a reaction against the Rococo style of naturalistic ornament, and in its architectural formulas as an outgrowth of some classicizing features of Late Baroque.
In its purest form it is a style principally derived from the architecture of Classical Greece and the architecture of Italian Andrea Palladio.
In form, Neoclassical architecture emphasizes the wall rather than chiaroscuro and maintains separate identities to each of its parts.
High neoclassicism was an international movement. Though neoclassical architecture employs the same classical vocabulary as Late Baroque architecture, it tends to emphasize its planar qualities, rather than sculptural volumes.
Projections and recessions and their effects of light and shade are flatter; sculptural bas-reliefs are flatter and tend to be enframed in friezes, tablets or panels. Its clearly articulated individual features are isolated rather than interpenetrating, autonomous and complete in themselves.
International neoclassical architecture was exemplified in Karl Friedrich Schinkel’s buildings, especially the Old Museum in Berlin, the works of Leo von Klenze, Sir John Soane’s Bank of England in London and the newly built White House and Capitol in Washington, DC in the United States.
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Glyptothek

München

Leo von Klenze – 1816 -1830

The Glyptothek is a museum in Munich, Germany, which was commissioned by the Bavarian King Ludwig I to house his collection ofGreek and Roman sculptures, (hence γλυπτο- glypto- “sculpture”, from the Greek verb γλύφειν glyphein “to carve”).
It was designed by Leo von Klenze in the Neoclassical style, and built from 1816 to 1830.
Today the museum is a part of the Kunstareal.
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Propyläen

München

Leo von Klenze – 1862

The building constructed in Doric order was completed by Leo von Klenze in 1862 and evokes the monumental entrance of the Propylaea for the Athenian Acropolis.
The gate was created as a memorial for the accession to the throne of Otto of Greece, a son of the principal King Ludwig I of Bavaria.
The reliefs and sculptures celebrating the Bavarian prince and the Greek War of Independence were created by Ludwig Michael Schwanthaler.

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Ruhmeshalle

München

 Leo von Klenze

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Regensburg Walhalla

Leo von Klenze 1830 – 1842


The Walhalla temple is a hall of fame that honors laudable and distinguished Germans, famous personalities in German history — politicians, sovereigns, scientists and artists of the German tongue”.
The hall is housed in a neo-classical building above the Danube River, east of Regensburg, in Bavaria, Germany.
The Walhalla temple is named for Valhalla of Norse mythology.
It was conceived in 1807 by Crown Prince Ludwig, who built it upon ascending the throne of Bavaria as King Ludwig I.
Construction took place between 1830 and 1842, under the supervision of architect Leo von Klenze.
The temple displays some 65 plaques and 130 busts of persons, covering 2,000 years of history.
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Regensburg Walhalla

Interior

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Regensburg Walhalla

Colonade

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Altes Museum

Karl Friedrich Schinkel – (1781 – 1841)

The Altes Museum  was built between 1823 and 1830 by the architect Karl Friedrich Schinkel in the neoclassical style to house the Prussian royal family’s art collection.
The historic, protected building counts among the most distinguished in neoclassicism and is a high point of Schinkel’s career.
Until 1845, it was called the Königliches Museum (Royal Museum).
Karl Friedrich Schinkel (13 March 1781, Neuruppin, Margraviate of Brandenburg – 9 October 1841, Berlin, Province of Brandenburg) was a Prussian architect, city planner, and painter who also designed furniture and stage sets.
Schinkel was one of the most prominent architects of Germany and designed both neoclassical and neo-gothic buildings.
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Monticello

Thomas Jefferson


Monticello is a National Historic Landmark just outside Charlottesville, Virginia, United States.
It was the estate of Thomas Jefferson, the principal author of the United States Declaration of Independence, third President of the United States, and founder of the University of Virginia; it is also, at his direction, the site of Jefferson’s burial place.
The house, which Jefferson designed, was based on the neoclassical principles described in the books of the Italian Renaissance architect Andrea Palladio.
It is situated on the summit of an 850-foot (260 m)-high peak in the Southwest Mountains south of the Rivanna Gap. Its name comes from the Italian “little mountain.”
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Washington Capitol

Washington DC

The original design for the capitol was by Thornton, and was later modified by Benjamin Henry Latrobe and then Charles Bulfinch.
The current dome and the House and Senate wings were designed by Thomas U. Walter and August Schoenborn, a German immigrant, and were completed under the supervision of Edward Clark.
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Column Bases – Capitol Hill

Washington DC

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 Vittorio Emanuele II Memorial

Roma

Giuseppe Sacconi – 1885

The Monumento Nazionale a Vittorio Emanuele II (National Monument of Victor Emmanuel II) or Altare della Patria (Altar of the Fatherland) or “Il Vittoriano” is a monument to honour Victor Emmanuel, the first king of a unified Italy, located in Rome, Italy.
It occupies a site between the Piazza Venezia and the Capitoline Hill.
The monument was designed by Giuseppe Sacconi in 1885; sculpture for it was parceled out to established sculptors all over Italy, such as Angelo Zanelli.
It was inaugurated in 1911 and completed in 1935.
The monument, “chopped with terrible brutality into the immensely complicated fabric of the hill”, is built of pure white marble from Botticino, Brescia, and features majestic stairways, tall Corinthian columns, fountains, a huge equestrian sculpture of Victor Emmanuel and two statues of the goddess Victoria riding on quadrigas.
The structure is 135 m (443 ft) wide and 70 m (230 ft) high. If the quadrigae and winged victories are included, the height is to 81 m (266 ft).
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 Vittorio Emanuele II Memorial

Roma

Giuseppe Sacconi – 1885

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 Vittorio Emanuele II Memorial

Roma

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Bank of England

Sir John Soane, RA

Sir John Soane, RA (10 September 1753 – 20 January 1837) was an English architect who specialised in the Neo-Classical style.
His architectural works are distinguished by their clean lines, massing of simple form, decisive detailing, careful proportions and skilful use of light sources.
The influence of his work, coming at the end of the Georgian era, was swamped by the revival styles of the 19th century.
It was not until the late 19th century that the influence of Sir John’s architecture was widely felt. His best-known work was the Bank of England, a building which had widespread effect on commercial architecture.
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British Museum

Sir Robert Smirke (1780–1867)

Sir Robert Smirke (1780–1867) was an English architect, one of the leaders of Greek Revival architecture his best known building in that style is the British Museum, though he also designed using other architectural styles.
The British Museum is Smirke’s largest and best known building. In 1820 in his role as architect to the Office of Works Smirke was invited to redesign the Museum, although the complete design dates from 1823, and was for a building surrounding a large central courtyard with a grand south front, given the limited funds the work was divided into phases.
Built of brick the visible facades are cased in Portland stone.
The first part constructed was the east wing the King’s Library, started in 1823 this was completed in 1828. The north section of the west wing the Egyptian Galleries followed 1825-34. The north wing housing the library and reading rooms was built 1833-38.
The west wing and south front was built 1842-46.
The main feature of the south front is the great colonnade of forty-four Greek Ionic columns. The columns are forty-five feet high and five feet in diameter, the column capitals are loosely based on the temple of Athena Polias at Priene and the column bases are based on the temple of Dionysus at Teos. At the centre of the colonnade is theoctastyle portico, this is two columns deep, the colonnade continues for three more columns before embracing the two wings to either side.
The major surviving interiors are the entrance hall with the Great Stair to rising to the west, it takes the form of an Imperial staircase, the impressive King’s Library built to house 65,000 books.
The only major interior to survive in the north wing is the Arched Room at the west end. The Egyptian Gallery matches the King’s Library but is far plainer in decoration.





British Museum

Main Staircase

Sir Robert Smirke (1780–1867)





British Museum

Sir Robert Smirke (1780–1867)

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click on images to enlarge

Subjects include – jewellery, graphics, architecture, furniture, appliances (radio, television etc), automobiles, aviation.


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Van Cleef & Arpels – Diamond, Emerald and Onyx Bracelet


Van Cleef & Arpels is a French jewellery, watch, and perfume company that was founded in 1896 by Salomon Arpels and Alfred Van Cleef. They opened their first boutique in 1906 at 22 place Vendôme, Paris. Van Cleef & Arpels are renowned for their expertise in precious stones and have won particular acclaim for a groundbreaking gem-setting procedure known as the Mystery Setting.
In 1896, Esther Arpels, the daughter of Salomon Arpels, a dealer in precious stones, married Alfred Van Cleef, whose family were sheet merchants living in the 19th arrondissement of Paris. That same year, Alfred Van Cleef and Salomon Arpels had already established a company with the aim of “founding and running a jewellery business”. In 1906, they registered the “Van Cleef & Arpels” trademark and opened a boutique at 22 place Vendôme. They were soon joined by Esther’s brothers, Salomon, Jules and Louis Arpels. Alfred Van Cleef died in 1938, leaving his daughter, Renée Rachel Puissant, behind him. From 1909 to 1939, Van Cleef & Arpels prospered and opened boutiques in holiday resorts such as Deauville, Le Touquet, Nice and Monte-Carlo.

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Jean Despre – Art Deco Brooch

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Jean Fouquet – Art Deco Bracelet

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Cartier – Art Deco Diamond and Emerald Jabot Pin

Cartier S.A., commonly known as “Cartier”, is a French luxury jeweler and watch manufacturer. The corporation carries the name of the Cartier family of jewellers whose control ended in 1964 and who were known for numerous pieces including the “Bestiary” (best illustrated by the Panthère brooch of the 1940s created for Wallis Simpson), the diamond necklace created for Bhupinder Singh the Maharaja of Patiala and in 1904 the first practical wristwatch, the “Santos.” Cartier SA is headquartered in Paris.

The company has a long and distinguished history of serving royalty, as well as stars and celebrities.

Cartier was founded in Paris in 1847 by Louis-François Cartier when he took over the workshop of his master. In 1874, his son Alfred Cartier took over the administration of the company, but it was Alfred’s sons Louis, Pierre and Jacques, who were responsible for establishing the worldwide brand name of Cartier.

Louis retained responsibility for the Paris branch, moving to the Rue de la Paix, in 1899. He was responsible for some of the company’s most celebrated designs, like the mystery clocks(a type of clock with a transparent dial and so named because their works are hidden), fashionable wristwatches and exotic orientalist Art Deco designs, including the colorful “Tutti Frutti” jewels.

Pierre Cartier established the New York City branch in 1909, moving in 1917 to the current location of 653 Fifth Avenue, the Neo-Renaissance mansion of Morton Freeman Plant (son of railroad tycoon Henry B. Plant) and designed by architect C.P.H. Gilbert.

Among the Cartier team was Charles Jacqueau, who joined Louis Cartier in 1909 for his entire life, and Jeanne Toussaint, who was Director of Fine Jewelry from 1933 on.

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Cartier – Mackay Emerald and Diamond Necklace

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Rolex Watch – Gentleman’s Wrist Watch – 9 carat Gold – c 1930


Rolex SA is a Swiss manufacturer of high-quality, luxury wristwatches.

In 1905 Hans Wilsdorf and his brother-in-law Alfred Davis founded “Wilsdorf and Davis” in London.[8] Their main business at the time was importing Hermann Aegler’s Swiss movements to England and placing them in quality watch cases made by Dennison and others. These early wristwatches were sold to jewellers, who then put their own names on the dial. The earliest watches from Wilsdorf and Davis were usually hallmarked “W&D” inside the caseback.

In 1908 Wilsdorf registered the trademark “Rolex” and opened an office in La Chaux-de-Fonds, Switzerland. The company name “Rolex” was registered on 15 November 1915. The word was made up, but its origin is obscure. Wilsdorf was said to want his watch brand’s name to be easily pronounceable in any language. He also thought that the name “Rolex” was onomatopoeic, sounding like a watch being wound. It was also short enough to fit on the face of a watch. One story, never confirmed by Wilsdorf, is that the name came from the French phrase horlogerie exquise, meaning “exquisite clockwork”.

In 1914 Kew Observatory awarded a Rolex watch a Class A precision certificate, a distinction which was normally awarded exclusively to marine chronometers.

In 1919 Wilsdorf moved the company to Geneva, Switzerland where it was established as the Rolex Watch Company. Its name was later changed to Montres Rolex, SA and finally Rolex, SA.

Upon the death of his wife in 1944, Wilsdorf established the Hans Wilsdorf Foundation in which he left all of his Rolex shares, making sure that some of the company’s income would go to charity. The company is still owned by a private trust and shares are not traded on any stock exchange.

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‘Perpetua Typeface’

Eric Gill


Perpetua is a typeface that was designed by English sculptor, typeface designer, stonecutter and printmaker Eric Gill (1882–1940).

Though not designed in the historical period of transitional type (the hallmark of transitional type was John Baskerville’s type designed in the last half of the 18th century), Perpetua can be classified with transitional typefaces because of characteristics such as high stroke contrast and bracketed serifs. Along with these characteristics, Perpetua bears the distinct personality of Eric Gill’s letterforms.

Gill began work on Perpetua in 1925 at the request of Stanley Morison, typographical advisor to Monotype. Morison sought Gill’s talent to design a new typeface for the foundry. By 1929, Perpetua Roman was issued as Monotype Series 239.

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Gray Castle Yearbook – San Diego High School 1930

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‘Ariel Between Wisdom and Gaiety’

BBC Broadcasting House, 1932.

Eric Gill


Arthur Eric Rowton Gill (22 February 1882 – 17 November 1940) was a British sculptor, typeface designer, stonecutter and printmaker, who was associated with the Arts and Crafts movement. Gill was born in 1882 in Brighton, Sussex (now East Sussex) and in 1897 the family moved to Chichester. Eric studied at Chichester Technical and Art School, and in 1900 moved to London to train as an architect with the practice of W.D. Caroe, specialists in ecclesiastical architecture. Frustrated with his training, he took evening classes in stone masonry at Westminster Technical Institute and in calligraphy at the Central School of Arts and Crafts, where Edward Johnston, creator of the London Underground typeface, became a strong influence. In 1903 he gave up his architectural training to become a calligrapher, letter-cutter and monumental mason. In 1904 he married Ethel Hester Moore (1878–1961), and in 1907 he moved with his family to “Sopers”, a house in the village of Ditchling in Sussex, which would later become the centre of an artists’ community inspired by Gill. There he started producing sculpture – his first public success was Mother and Child (1912). In 1913 he moved to Hopkin’s Crank at Ditchling Common, two miles north of the village. In 1914 he produced sculptures for the stations of the cross in Westminster Cathedral. In the same year he met the typographer Stanley Morison. In 1924 he moved to Capel-y-ffin in Wales, where he set up a new workshop, to be followed by Jones and other disciples. In 1925 he designed the Perpetua typeface, with the uppercase based upon monumental Roman inscriptions, for Morison, who was working for the Monotype Corporation. An in-situ example of Gill’s design and personal cutting of his Perpetua typeface can be found in the nave of Poling church in West Sussex, on a wall plaque commemorating the life of Sir Harry Johnston. The Perpetua design was followed by the Gill Sans typeface in 1927–30, based on the sans serif lettering originally designed for the London Underground. (Gill had collaborated with Edward Johnston in the early design of the Underground typeface, but dropped out of the project before it was completed.) In the period 1930-31 Gill designed the typeface Joanna which he used to hand-set his book, An Essay on Typography. In 1928 he moved to Pigotts near High Wycombe in Buckinghamshire, where he set up a printing press and lettering workshop. He took on a number of apprentices, including David Kindersley, who in turn became a successful sculptor and engraver, and John Skelton (1923–1999), his nephew, and also noted as an important letterer and sculptor. In 1928/9, Gill carved three of eight relief sculptures on the theme of winds for Charles Holden’s headquarters for the London Electric Railway (now Transport for London) at 55 Broadway, St James’s. In 1932 Gill produced a group of sculptures, Prospero and Ariel, and others for the BBC’s Broadcasting House in London. In 1937, he designed the background of the first George VI definitive stamp series for the Post Office, and in 1938 produced The Creation of Adam, three bas-reliefs in stone for the Palace of Nations, the League of Nations building in Geneva, Switzerland. During this period he was made a Royal Designer for Industry, the highest British award for designers, by the Royal Society of Arts and became a founder-member of the newly established Faculty of Royal Designers for Industry. Gill died of lung cancer in Harefield Hospital, Uxbridge, Middlesex in 1940. He was buried in Speen churchyard in the Chilterns, near Princes Risborough, the village where his last artistic community had practised. His papers and library are archived at the William Andrews Clark Memorial Library at UCLA.

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Hollywood  Bowl  Auditorium

The Hollywood Bowl is a modern amphitheater in the Hollywood area of Los Angeles, California, United States that is used primarily for music performances. It has a seating capacity of 17,376.

The Hollywood Bowl is known for its band shell, a distinctive set of concentric arches that graced the site from 1929 through 2003,

In 1929 Allied Architects built the shell that stood until 2003, using a transite skin over a metal frame.

Its clean lines and white, almost-semicircular arches were copied for music shells elsewhere.  The appearance underwent other, purely visual, changes as well, including the addition of a broad outer arch (forming a proscenium) where it had once had only a narrow rim and the reflecting pool in front of the stage that lasted from 1953 till 1972.Sculptor George Stanley designed the Muse Fountain. He had previously done The Oscar statuette.

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Gillette  Factory – Great  West Road – Hounslow

Sir Banister Fletcher

King Camp Gillette (January 5, 1855 – July 9, 1932) was an American businessman, popularly known as the inventor of the safety razor, although several models were in existence prior to Gillette’s design. Gillette’s innovation was the thin, inexpensive, disposable blade of stamped steel.

Gillette is widely credited with inventing the so-called razor and blades business model, where razors are sold cheaply to increase the market for blades, but in fact he did not adopt this model until his competitors did.

The ‘Gillette Building’ is a grade II listed Art Deco style office and works development, designed by Sir Banister Fletcher, incorporating a high brick tower surmounted by a four-faced neon-illuminated clock. As this tall structure sits on high ground it represents a prominent local landmark and can be seen from afar, day and night. From the early 1930s until the early 21st century this building was the European headquarters of the Gillette Company, of Boston Massachusetts.


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Gillette  Factory – Great  West Road – Hounslow

Sir Banister Fletcher

Sir Banister Flight Fletcher (15 February 1866, London – 17 August 1953, London) was an English architect and architectural historian, as was his father, also named Banister Fletcher.

With his father, he co-authored the first edition of A History of Architecture – A History of Architecture on the Comparative Method. London: Athlone Press, University of London.

He was architect of the Gillette factory on the Great West Road, in Brentford, Middlesex, of the Great Hall at King’s College School, and of Abbess Grange, Leckford, Hampshire.

He was elected president of the Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA) in 1929 (until 1931).

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Firestone  Gates – Great  West Road – Hounslow


The Firestone Tyre Company. Built 1928, designed by Wallis, Gilbert and Partners. It was the first overseas factory built by the Firestone company of America. The building frontage was demolished during a public holiday in August 1980 shortly before a preservation order was due to be served on it to retain the Art Deco architecture. The Art Deco gatehouse was demolished in 2004 to make way for increased parking facilities. The remaining gates, railings, and piers are in a Jazz Modern style and are Grade II listed.

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Coty’s  Cosmetics  Factory – Great  West Road – Hounslow

Coty Cosmetics factory, No. 941, designed by Wallis, Gilbert and Partners opened in 1932

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Barcelona  Pavillion  – Mies  van  der  Rohe

The Barcelona Pavilion, designed by Ludwig Mies van der Rohe, was the German Pavilion for the 1929 International Exposition in Barcelona, Spain. This building was used for the official opening of the German section of the exhibition. It was an important building in the history of modern architecture, known for its simple form and extravagant materials, such as marble and travertine.

Mies placed Georg Kolbe’s Alba (“Dawn”) in the small water basin, leaving the larger one all the more empty. The sculpture also ties into the highly reflective materials Mies used—he chose the place where these optical effects would have the strongest impact; the building offers multiple views of Alba.

Because this was planned as an exhibition pavilion, it was intended to exist only temporarily. The building was torn down in early 1930, not even a year after it was completed. However, thanks to black and white photos and original plans, a group of Spanish architects reconstructed the pavilion permanently between 1983 and 1986.


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Barcelona  Pavillion  – Sculpture  Court  &  Reflecting  Pool

Mies  van  der  Rohe



Mies placed Georg Kolbe’s Alba (“Dawn”) in the small water basin, leaving the larger one all the more empty. The sculpture also ties into the highly reflective materials Mies used—he chose the place where these optical effects would have the strongest impact; the building offers multiple views of Alba.

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Crown  Hall  –  Mies  van  der  Rohe



S. R. Crown Hall, designed by the German-born Modernist architect Ludwig Mies van der Rohe, is the home of the College of Architecture at the Illinois Institute of Technology in Chicago, Illinois.

Mies was born in Aachen, Germany, on March 27, 1886.

after having trained with his father, a master stonemason.

In 1927 he designed one of his most famous buildings,

the German Pavilion at the international exposition in Barcelona

in 1929.

He moved to the United States in 1937.

from 1938 to 1958 he was head of the Architecture

Department at the Armour Institute of Technology in

Chicago, later renamed the Illinois Institute of Technology.

Crown Hall is regarded as Mies van Der Rohe’s masterpiece, and is one of the most architecturally significant buildings of the 20th Century Modernist movement. Crown Hall was completed in 1956 during Mies van der Rohe’s tenure as director of IIT’s Department of Architecture.

One critic calls it the Parthenon of the 20th Century.

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Ruhlmann – Desk

Émile-Jacques Ruhlmann (28 August 1879 – 15 November 1933), his first names often seen reversed as Jacques-Émile, was a renowned French designer of furniture and interiors, epitomising for many the glamour of the French Art Deco style of the 1920s. He was born in Paris to Alsatian parents who were in the general decorating business. When his father died in 1907 he took over the family firm. In 1919 Ruhlmann founded, with Pierre Laurent, the company Ruhlmann et Laurent, specializing in interior design and producing luxury home goods that included furniture, wallpaper and lighting. By this time, Ruhlmann was making formal elegant furniture using precious and exotic woods in combination with ivory fittings, giving them a classic, timeless appeal. Ruhlmann’s legacy as a designer was the subject of a major retrospective exhibition at the New York Metropolitan Museum of Art in 2004. In 2009, he was called the “Art Deco’s greatest artist” by the New York Times.

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Ruhlmann – Table

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Norman Bel Geddes – Mac Cobb Chairs


Norman Melancton Bel Geddes (April 27, 1893 – May 9, 1958) was an American theatrical and industrial designer who focused on aerodynamics. Bel Geddes was born Norman Melancton Geddes in Adrian, Michigan, and raised in New Philadelphia, Ohio.

He began his career with set designs for Aline Barnsdall’s Los Angeles Little Theater in the 1916-1917 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 entitled It Happened on Ice produced by Sonja Henie. He designed costumes for Max Reinhardt, and created the sets for the New York premiere production of Sidney Kingsley’s Dead End (1935).

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. Bel Geddes’s 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.” Bel Geddes designed the General Motors Pavilion, known as Futurama, for the 1939 New York World’s Fair. His autobiography, Miracle in the Evening, was published posthumously in 1960.

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Barcelona  Chair – White – Mies  van  der  Rohe


Ludwig Mies van der Rohe (March 27, 1886 – August 17, 1969) was a German architect.

Ludwig Mies van der Rohe, along with Walter Gropius and Le Corbusier, is widely regarded as one of the pioneering masters of Modern architecture. Mies, like many of his post World War I contemporaries, sought to establish a new architectural style that could represent modern times just as Classical and Gothic did for their own eras. He created an influential 20th century architectural style, stated with extreme clarity and simplicity. His mature buildings made use of modern materials such as industrial steel and plate glass to define interior spaces. He strived towards an architecture with a minimal framework of structural order balanced against the implied freedom of free-flowing open space. He called his buildings “skin and bones” architecture. He sought a rational approach that would guide the creative process of architectural design. He is often associated with the aphorisms “less is more” and “God is in the details”.

Mies designed modern furniture pieces using new industrial technologies that have become popular classics, such as the Barcelona chair and table, the Brno chair, and the Tugendhat chair. His furniture is known for fine craftsmanship, a mix of traditional luxurious fabrics like leather combined with modern chrome frames, and a distinct separation of the supporting structure and the supported surfaces, often employing cantilevers to enhance the feeling of lightness created by delicate structural frames.


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Barcelona  Ottoman  – Mies  van  der  Rohe

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Barcelona  Chair  &  Ottoman  – Mies  van  der  Rohe

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Barcelona  Table  – Mies  van  der  Rohe

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Barcelona  Daybed  – Mies  van  der  Rohe

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Corbusier  3  Seat  Sofa

Charles-Édouard Jeanneret

Charles-Édouard Jeanneret, who chose to be known as Le Corbusier; October 6, 1887 – August 27, 1965), was a Swiss architect, designer, urbanist, writer and painter, famous for being one of the pioneers of what now is called Modern architecture or the International style. He was born in Switzerland and became a French citizen in his thirties. His career spanned five decades, with his buildings constructed throughout central Europe, India, Russia, and one each in North and South America.

He was a pioneer in studies of modern high design and was dedicated to providing better living conditions for the residents of crowded cities.

Le Corbusier adopted his pseudonym in the 1920s, allegedly deriving it in part from the name of a distant ancestor, “Lecorbésier.”

Corbusier said: “Chairs are architecture, sofas are bourgeois.”

Le Corbusier began experimenting with furniture design in 1928 after inviting the architect, Charlotte Perriand, to join his studio. His cousin, Pierre Jeanneret, also collaborated on many of the designs.

In 1928, Le Corbusier and Perriand began to put the expectations for furniture Le Corbusier outlined in his 1925 book L’Art Décoratif d’aujourd’hui into practice. In the book he defined three different furniture types: type-needs, type-furniture, and human-limb objects. He defined human-limb objects as: “Extensions of our limbs and adapted to human functions that are type-needs and type-functions, therefore type-objects and type-furniture. The human-limb object is a docile servant. A good servant is discreet and self-effacing in order to leave his master free. Certainly, works of art are tools, beautiful tools. And long live the good taste manifested by choice, subtlety, proportion, and harmony”.

The first results of the collaboration were three chrome-plated tubular steel chairs designed for two of his projects, The Maison la Roche in Paris and a pavilion for Barbara and Henry Church. The line of furniture was expanded for Le Corbusier’s 1929 Salon d’Automne installation, Equipment for the Home.

The most famous of these chairs are the now-iconic LC-1, LC-2, LC-3, and LC-4, originally titled “Basculant” (LC-1), “Fauteuil grand confort, petit modèle” (LC-2, “great comfort sofa, small model”), “Fauteil grand confort, grand modèle” (LC-3, “great comfort sofa, large model”), and “Chaise longue” (LC-4, “Long chair”, English: “chaise lounge”). The LC-2 and LC-3 are more colloquially referred to as the petit confort and grand confort (abbreviation of full title, and due to respective sizes).

In the year 1964, while Le Corbusier was still alive, Cassina S.p.A. of Milan acquired the exclusive worldwide rights to manufacture his furniture designs. Today many copies exist, but Cassina is still the only manufacturer authorized by the Fondation Le Corbusier.


Corbusier – LC3-2 Seater Sofa

Charles-Édouard Jeanneret

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Corbusier – LC2 Single Seat Sofa

Charles-Édouard Jeanneret

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Rosewood and Mahogany ‘Helix’ Sideboard



Rosewood and Mahogany ‘Helix’ sideboard designed by David Booth in 1950 for the Festival of Britain show of 1951, design No. R407, enclosed by a pair of Bombay rosewood doors with interwoven lines revealing birch ply, brass ring handles, with a fitted interior on short tapering legs

Labelled on the back ‘Gordon Russell of Broadway’, purchased in 1951 at The Festival of Britain.

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Mahogany  4-Drawer  Chest – E. Gomme – G-Plan


G-Plan was a pioneering range of furniture in the United Kingdom, produced by E Gomme Ltd of High Wycombe. In 1943, during World War II, furniture was part of rationing in the United Kingdom; the Board of Trade set up the Utility scheme which limited costs and the types of furniture on sale. A small number of simple designs were available in oak or mahogany. This scheme ended in December 1952. This, combined with the Festival of Britain led to a pent-up demand for more modern furniture. In 1953, Donald Gomme, the designer at E Gomme, decided to produce a range of modern furniture for the entire house which could be bought piece by piece according to budgets. Advertising was part of the plan from the beginning. The name was coined by Doris Gundry of the J. Walter Thompson advertising agency, and the furniture was advertised in magazines and in cinemas direct to the public. Designs were available for several years so people could collect them slowly. All furniture was marked with the distinctive brand mark. The success of G-Plan led to E Gomme becoming one of the UK’s largest furniture manufacturers, with profits increasing sixfold between 1952 and 1958 when it was floated. Donald Gomme left the company in 1958, perhaps the peak of the company’s success. The distinguishing feature of the classic G-Plan style is the fine mohogany case, and the black ebonised chassis, and ebonised legs terminating in brass furrels.

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Mahogany  4-Drawer  Chest – E. Gomme – G-Plan

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Mahogany  Sideboard – E. Gomme – G-Plan

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G Plan – Tallboy – detail

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3-Drawer  Chest – E. Gomme – G-Plan

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Sofa – E. Gomme – G-Plan

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Mahogany  Coffee  Table – E. Gomme – G-Plan

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General Electric  Bakerlite Radio


By 1890, Thomas Edison had brought together several of his business interests under one corporation to form Edison General Electric. At about the same time, Thomson-Houston Electric Company, under the leadership of C harles A. Coffin, gained access to a number of key patents through the acquisition of a number of competitors.

Subsequently, General Electric was formed by the 1892 merger of Edison General Electric of Schenectady, New York and Thomson-Houston Electric Company of Lynn, Massachusetts, and both plants remain in operation under the GE banner to this day. The company was incorporated in New York, with the Schenectady plant as headquarters for many years thereafter.

GE has the fourth most recognized brand in the world, worth almost $48 billion.

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Pye 1005 Achoic Stereophonic Projection System


W.G. Pye & Co. Ltd. was founded in 1896 in Cambridge by William George Pye, an employee of the Cavendish Laboratory, as a part time business making scientific instruments. By the outbreak of World War I in 1914 the company employed 40 people manufacturing instruments that were used for teaching and research. The war increased demand for such instruments and the War Office needed experimental thermionic valves. The manufacture of these components afforded the company the technical knowledge that it needed to develop the first wireless receiver when the first UK broadcasts were made by the BBC in 1922. Instruments continued to be designed and manufactured under W G Pye Ltd, later situated in York Street Cambridge, while a separate company was started to build wireless components in a factory at Church Path, Chesterton.

In February 1944 Pye formed a specialist division called Pye Telecommunications Ltd which it intended would design and produce radio communications equipment when the war ended. This company developed, prospered and grew to become the leading UK producer of mobile radio equipment for commercial, business, industrial, police and government purposes.

In recent years the Pye brand has enjoyed a resurgence on the UK market, with domestic products including DVD recorders. The Pye brand is one of a handful surviving today from the early domestic electronics era that dates to before World War II.

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Großer  Mercedes  –  Mercedes-Benz  770K


Mercedes-Benz is a German manufacturer of automobiles, buses, coaches, and trucks. Mercedes-Benz is a division of its parent company, Daimler AG.

Mercedes-Benz traces its origins to Karl Benz’s creation of the first petrol-powered car, the Benz Patent Motorwagen, patented in January of 1886 and Gottlieb Daimler and engineer Wilhelm Maybach’s conversion of a stagecoach by the addition of a petrol engine later that year. The Mercedes automobile was first marketed in 1901 by Daimler Motoren Gesellschaft. The first Mercedes-Benz brand name vehicles were produced in 1926, following the merger of Karl Benz’s and Gottlieb Daimler’s companies into the Daimler-Benz company. Mercedes-Benz has introduced many technological and safety innovations that later became common in other vehicles. Mercedes-Benz is one of the most well-known and established automotive brands in the world, and is also the world’s oldest automotive brand still in existence today.

Adolf Hitler was known for his love of luxury cars and ordered a succession of custom vehicles from Mercedes, culminating in the 770K  model of 1941, which was rumoured to weigh up to five tonnes.

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1950  Lincoln  Continental  Concept  Car

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1961 – Lincoln Continental

The Lincoln Continental was an automobile produced by the Lincoln division of Ford Motor Company from 1939 to 1948 and again from 1956 to 2002. Despite often sharing underpinnings with less-expensive Fords in more recent years, the Lincoln Continental had usually been a distinctively platformed and styled, highly equipped luxury car in the course of its long history.

The flagship Lincoln model during most of its run, the Continental name conveyed special cachet in the product line.

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Cadillac Eldorado Biarritz 1959


Cadillac is a luxury vehicle marque owned by General Motors. Cadillac vehicles are sold in over 50 countries and territories, but mainly in North America.

Cadillac is currently the second oldest American automobile manufacturer behind Buick and among the oldest automobile brands in the world. Depending on how one chooses to measure, Cadillac is arguably older than Buick.

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Cadillac  Advertisement  –  1960s

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Boeing  377  Stratocruiser

The Boeing 377 Stratocruiser was a long-range postwar airliner with four piston-driven engines. It was a civilian equivalent to the C-97 Stratofreighter, and was developed largely in parallel with its military sibling.

The “inverted-figure-8” double-deck fuselage design provided 6,600 ft³ (187 m³) of interior space where the lower deck had a smaller diameter than the upper deck. It offered seating for over 100 passengers, or sleeping berths for up to 28 berthed and five seated passengers.

It first flew on July 8, 1947. It had the speed and range to span ocean routes, enabling flying from New York to Hawaii in less than 24 hours.Pressurization (previously introduced on the Boeing Stratoliner and also designed into the B-29) allowed sea-level cabin pressure at 15,500 ft (4,700 m) altitude.

At 25,000 ft (7,600 m), passengers enjoyed a “cabin altitude” of only 5,500 ft (1,700 m).

The Stratocruiser flew premier services to Hawaii, across both oceans, and elsewhere in the world until superseded in the 1960s by jets such as the Boeing 707 and de Havilland Comet. Its spiral staircase, which led to a lower-deck lounge, and it was one of the few airliners with a double-decker seating arrangement (another was the French Breguet Deux-Ponts).

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Horton – Ho 229

The Horten H.IX, RLM designation Ho 229 (often called Gotha Go 229 due to the identity of the chosen manufacturer of the aircraft) was a late-World War II prototype fighter/bomber designed by Reimar and Walter Horten and built by Gothaer Waggonfabrik.

It was the first pure flying wing powered by a jet engine and designed to be more difficult to detect with radar – the first aircraft to incorporate what is now known as stealth technology.

It was a personal favorite of German Luftwaffe chief Reichsmarschall Hermann Göring, and was the only aircraft to come close to meeting his “3×1000” performance requirements, namely to carry 1000kg of bombs a distance of 1000km with a speed of 1000km/h. Its speed was estimated at 1,024 km/h (636 mph) and its ceiling 15,000 meters (49,213 ft).

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Dreamchaser  Spacecraft


The Dream Chaser is a planned crewed suborbital and orbital vertical-takeoff, horizontal-landing (VTHL) lifting-body spaceplane being developed by SpaceDev, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Sierra Nevada Corporation (SNC).

The Dream Chaser design is planned to carry seven people to and from low earth orbit. The vehicle would launch vertically on an Atlas V and land horizontally on conventional runways.

On October 11, 2010 SNC announced it had achieved two critical milestones for NASA’s CCDev program. The first consisted of three successful test firings of a single hybrid rocket motor in one day. The second milestone was the completion of the primary tooling necessary to build the composite structure of the Dream Chaser vehicle.

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OTHER WEBSITES FROM PETER CRAWFORD

Google Blogs

  • Otto Lohmüller – The art of Otto Lohmller on Google – the classic young male nude
  • Great Art – Great Art – painting, sculpture & architecture
  • Tom Daley – Teenage Diving Superstar – the best photos on the web

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