WASHINGTON — Remember that colorful Fiesta dinnerware on your mom’s or grandma’s dinner table? How about the Baby Brownie camera she took snapshots with? Or that heavy, black telephone to chat on?
Those and several other classics of American design are featured on a new set of postage stamps being issued Wednesday. The stamps are designated “forever” and will sell for the first-class rate, currently 44 cents. First-day ceremonies for the stamps will be held at the Cooper-Hewitt National Design Museum in New York City on Wednesday, the same day the stamps go on sale nationwide.
The set honors a dozen pioneers of American industrial design, with one of their works on each stamp.
• Frederick Hurten Rhead for the sleek and brightly colored Fiesta dinnerware introduced in 1936.
• Walter Dorwin Teague, known as the “dean of industrial design,” who created several popular cameras, including the 1934 “Baby Brownie.”
• Norman Bel Geddes, a founding member of the American Society of Industrial Designers and a champion of streamlining. He created new looks for cars, trains, planes, buildings, typewriters, stoves, household furnishings and the portable radio shown on the stamp.
• Raymond Loewy, who helped define the look of modern America. He believed products should be simple, functional and appealing. He designed everything from trains and cars to household appliances, corporate logos and even office tools like the pencil sharpener prototype shown on the stamp.
• Donald Deskey is best known for the lavish art deco interiors he designed in 1932 for Radio City Music Hall in New York City. He was also an innovative industrial designer of furniture and lighting, like the table lamp shown on the stamp.
• Gilbert Rohde was an influential and innovative furniture designer in the 1930s and 1940s. His work included modular and sectional furniture made of wood, chrome, Bakelite, Plexiglass, and other new materials, as well as clocks such as the one shown on the stamp.
• Greta von Nessen specialized in lighting, and none of her designs are better known than the “Anywhere” lamp shown on the stamp.
• Russel Wright focused on household products, creating affordable modern furniture and tableware characterized by minimal but elegant forms. Each stainless-steel piece of Highlight-Pinch flatware, pictured on the stamp, featured an organically shaped handle and no applied ornament.
• Henry Dreyfuss considered the user to be the center and focus of his industrial design work. He designed products that touched all corners of American life, from household appliances like clocks, sewing machines and vacuum cleaners to tractors and the interiors of trains and planes. Dreyfuss also set the standard for telephone design with the 1937 Model 302 Bell telephone shown on the stamp.
• Peter Mueller-Munk is best remembered for the sleek “Normandie” pitcher featured on the stamp. It was introduced by the Revere Copper and Brass Company in 1935.
• Dave Chapman is probably best known for his innovative designs for classroom furniture. He also designed household appliances like refrigerators, hair dryers, radios and electric heaters and the streamlined sewing machines shown on the stamp.
• Eliot Noyes bridged the gap between business and art. Rather than continue changing a product’s design every year, Noyes persuaded his corporate clients to adopt long-lasting design principles instead. He is best remembered for his long working relationship with IBM, for whom he designed buildings, interiors and a range of office equipment, like the iconic 1961 “Selectric” typewriter pictured on the stamp.