Featured Post

Harold L. Van Doren Industrial Design

Above: Airflow Scooter by Harold L. Van Doren

We recently re-discovered the design of Harold L. Van Doren (1895-1957). Harold L. Van Doren was one of the most groundbreaking designers of the early 20th century. Harold L. Van Doren was a prolific industrial designer and created numerous iconic streamlined design items including toys, radios, fans, etc.

We love this streamlined modern tricycle which he designed in the 1930's for the American National Company. This timeless sporty red tricycle is constructed of handcrafted steel and modeled after the classic 1934 Van Doren design displayed in museums. Timeless treasure featuring chrome trim, durable steel spokes, solid rubber wheels, a leather saddle seat, working headlight, and adjustable handlebars.

Above: Skippy Airflow Tricycle by Harold L. Van Doren

Answers list some additional info on Harold L. Van Doren; One of the first generation of American industrial designers Van Doren began working in the field in the 1930s. His early visual outlook was informed by a training in art history, studying at the École de Louvre in Paris, lecturing in the Louvre Museum, and translating important texts by Ambroise Vollard on Cézanne and Renoir. He held the post of assistant director at the Institute of Art in Minneapolis from 1927 until 1930 when he established a design consultancy with John Gordon Rideout in Toledo, Ohio. An early collaborative product was their plastic-cased Air King radio of 1933, the stepped-back form of which echoed the lines of contemporary skyscrapers. In the same year Harold Van Doren & Associates replaced their earlier partnership. Van Doren and Rideout worked on a number of designs for children's play equipment for the American National Company in the mid-1930s, comprising the streamlined Skippy Airflow pedal car, tricycle, and scooter. Other Van Doren clients included the Toledo Scale Co., the Ex-Cell-O Aircraft and Machine Tool Co., and Philco. In 1944 Van Doren's company underwent a further name change, becoming Van Doren, Nowland & Schladermundt in 1944. Van Doren was also an interesting writer, publishing Industrial Design: A Practical Guide (1940). In it he argued for teamwork in design, recommending that each consultancy should include a designer, an engineer, a technical specialist, and others with a knowledge of manufacturing, production processes, retailing, and distribution. Furthermore, Van Doren sought to imbue contemporary debates about the newly emerging industrial design profession with a note of caution, pointing out that the majority of American manufacturers neither saw the advantages of industrial design as a business tool nor the need for the implementation of longer-term design strategies.

Available from: