A new exhibit by the SFO Museum at San Francisco International Airport presents products from the 1930s to the 1950s that are great examples of aviation-inspired design.
Exhibition notes tells us that is was the Great Depression of the 1930s when the modern airplane became an inspiring symbol of hope.
“Sleek and shiny, the new all-metal aircraft lifted spirits and promised a brighter future. The emerging study of aerodynamics, using wind-tunnel testing, rapidly advanced the design of aircraft. With smoother streaming lines, airplanes were flying faster and farther and capturing the public’s imagination. The functionality of this new aerodynamic understanding, which became known as “streamline design,” extended to other forms of transportation, including trains, cars, and ships.”
And to products such as bicycles, typewriters and household appliances which were designed with sweeping lines, rounded corners and tapering teardrops in homage to the airplane.
The exhibition, Streamlines: Air Age Aesthetics for Industrial Design, is located pre-security in SFO’s Aviation Museum and Library (in the International Terminal) between 10 a.m. and 4:30 p.m. through September 22, 2019.
Here are more objects from the exhibition. All photos courtesy SFO Museum.