The streamlined backlit aluminum railroad passenger car sign created by American industrial designer Henry Dreyfuss (1904-1972) for New York Central's streamlined luxury train, the 20th Century Limited. Throughout the first half of the 20th century, Dreyfuss was commissioned by American industry to create all manner of functional art. From fountain pens and cameras to appliances and bathroom sinks to trains, airplanes and even 20,000 ton ocean liners for which he integrated form and function from stem to stern inside and out.
His commissions included the interior and exterior design of entire trains for the New York Central Railroad. He was responsible for the design of every rail car, from the sleek, streamlined locomotive all the way to this sign that lit the tail-end of the last observation car. The slightly convex polished aluminum frame with horizontal bars encloses clean black enameled lettering of 20TH CENTURY LIMITED backed by bent white plastic lit from behind, in this case with blue lights.(CORRECTION: The insert is not white glass as previously noted, but is white plastic.)
Measures 28 x 20 x 4.5 inches.
Provenance: The Collection of Ed McHugh, Massillon, Ohio
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