Pioneering Industrial Designers Celebrated on New Forever Stamps

U.S. Postal Service Honors 12 American Designers

June 29, 2011 

Release No. 11-078 



Pioneers of American Industrial Design

To obtain a high-resolution image of the stamp for media use only, e-mail

NEW YORK — The U.S. Postal Service today dedicated a new sheet of stamps honoring 12 of the nation’s most important and influential industrial designers. The Smithsonian’s Cooper-Hewitt National Design Museum was the setting for the dedication.

The 12 designers who are honored on individual stamps include Peter Müller-Munk, Frederick Hurten Rhead, Raymond Loewy, Donald Deskey, Walter Dorwin Teague, Henry Dreyfuss, Norman Bel Geddes, Dave Chapman, Greta von Nessen, Eliot Noyes, Russel Wright and Gilbert Rohde.

“Encompassing everything from furniture and electric kitchen appliances to corporate office buildings and passenger trains, the work of these designers defined the look of modern America, and in doing, revolutionized the way we live and work,” said Dean Granholm, Postal Service vice president of Delivery and Post Office Operations, at today’s ceremony.

Joining Granholm to dedicate the stamps were Bill Moggridge, director, Cooper-Hewitt National Design Museum; Ralph Caplan, design writer; Jessica Helfand and Sylvia Harris, Citizens’ Stamp Advisory Committee; Derry Noyes, art director; Margaret Bauer, art designer; and Stephen M. Kearney, executive director, Stamp Services.

Industrial design emerged as a profession in the United Sates in the 1920s, but really took off during the Great Depression. Faced with decreasing sales, manufacturers turned to industrial designers to give their products a modern look that would appeal to consumers. Characterized by horizontal lines and rounded shapes, the new, streamlined looks differed completely from the decorative extravagance of the 1920s. The designs evoked a sense of speed and efficiency and projected the image of progress and affluence the public desired.

Consumer interest in modern design continued to increase after World War II, when machines allowed corporations to mass produce vacuums, hair dryers, toasters and other consumer goods at low cost. Industrial designers helped lower costs further by exploiting inexpensive new materials like plastic, vinyl, chrome, aluminum and plywood, which responded well to advances in manufacturing such as the use of molds and stamping. Affordable prices and growing prosperity nationwide helped drive popular demand.

Even as streamlining gave way to new looks in the 1960s, the groundbreaking work of industrial designers continued to transform the look of homes and offices across the country. Today, industrial design remains an integral component of American manufacturing and business, as well as daily life.

Each stamp features the name of a designer and a photograph of an object created by the designer, as well as a description of the object and the year or years when the object was created. The selvage features a photograph of the “Airflow” fan designed by Robert Heller around 1937. Derry Noyes, whose father is honored on this sheet of stamps, was the art director.

The Pioneers of American Industrial Design stamps go on sale nationwide today at local Post Offices, online at and through the toll-free line, 1-800 782-6724.

For additional information on Pioneers of American Industrial Design:

How to Order the First-Day-of-Issue Postmark
Customers have 60 days to obtain the first-day-of-issue postmark by mail. They may purchase new stamps at their local Post Office, online at, or by calling 1-800-STAMP-24. They should affix the stamps to envelopes of their choice, address the envelopes (to themselves or others) and place them in larger envelopes addressed to:

Pioneers of American Industrial Design Stamp
Special Events
421 8th Ave., Rm. 2029B
New York, NY 10199-9998

After applying the first day of issue postmark, the Postal Service will return the envelopes through the mail. There is no charge for the postmark. All orders must be postmarked by Aug. 29, 2011.

How to Order First-Day Covers
The Postal Service also offers first-day covers for new stamp issues and Postal Service stationery items postmarked with the official first day of issue cancellation. Each item has an individual catalog number and is offered in the quarterly USA Philatelic Catalog. Customers may request a free catalog by calling 800-STAMP-24 or writing to:

Information Fulfillment
Dept. 6270
U.S. Postal Service
PO Box 219014
Kansas City, MO 64121-9014

Philatelic Products
There are six philatelic products available for this stamp issue:

  • 467862, First Day Cover Full Pane, $7.78 •
  • 467863, First Day Cover Set of 12, $10.56 •
  • 467864, First Day Cancelled Full Pane, $7.78 •
  • 467868, Digital Color Postmark Set of 12, $19.20 •
  • 467891, Ceremony Program, $6.95 •
  • 467899, Cancellation Keepsake Pane and Digital Color Postmark Set of 12, $24.95

To learn more about the Postal Service’s stamp program, visit

The Postal Service receives no tax dollars for operating expenses and relies on the sale of postage, products and services to fund its operations.

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