Saturday, November 9, 2013

Old World Inspiration

Well, hard to believe it's almost twelve months since my last update, and harder to believe that in that past twelve months my modeling time in total has probably been less than twelve minutes in total, such has been the year that's past.

That's not to say that I haven't kept a close eye on all the other blogs I follow, plus the news groups which are no end of entertainment with the obscure, obtuse, nutty, pedantic, argumentative and downright rude posts that are written, all in the name of enjoyment no doubt, but you have to wonder sometimes the stress levels some of these posters much be getting whilst trying to battering ram style force their opinions down every other persons throats!

I must admit to dabbling in the odd "discussion" where I think there is something of note to add, but usually just sit back and enjoy the show.

On a positive note this year has seen two pre-ordered products arrive, firstly the Eureka HUB Set, and later on the Auscision 422 Class locomotive. It was nice to see something arrive that had been ordered some time earlier in the case of the HUB Set, and quite some time earlier in the case of the 422 Class from Auscision. But far from being annoyed at the delay, it was probably more relief that I had ordered these items when funds were more plentiful, as at the moment "cash for toys" is not quite as easy to come by.

Still to come in the pre-ordered stakes are an Austrains 8101 in it's "original" Tuscan/Indian red colour scheme, of which there have been no images posted as far as I know, so what will arrive is somewhat of a mystery! Word on the street is that this may arrive before years end, fingers crossed.

Then there's 4801 from Trainorama, who knows where they are up to and when they might arrive, but again it's paid for and will get here when it does.

And finally three 40 Class loco's from Eureka are still awaiting delivery, one in each colour. Again the 40 Class saga has been well documented with various factory problems in China, but I'm sure they'll get here one day, and will be mostly worth the wait.

But I digress somewhat from the actual inspiration for this long overdue (but sadly lacking in progress) post. A few days ago, I opened my browser set to my Google home page, to find the Google header logo in a very "Art Deco" "Streamlined" style, which instantly reminded me of the streamlined locomotives of the time. After looking into it I found out it was to celebrate the 120th birthday of Raymond Loewy, who was a very famous industrial designer back in the day.

Loewy was credited with designing the PRR GG1 electric locomotive for the Pennsylvania Railroad in 1936 PRR GG1 Electric Locomotive, and then the PRR S1 Steam Locomotive in 1938 PRR S1 Steam Locomotive

He did not design them in engineering terms, but used his industrial styling talents to bring the railroad out of the the dark dingy age and into the future. In addition to locomotive design, Loewy's studios performed many kinds of design work for the Pennsylvania Railroad including stations, passenger-car interiors, and advertising materials.

Part of his influence was instrumental in EMD's locomotive designs, which in time brought to us in Australia the fantastic looking Victorian B ans S Class diesel locomotives, the Commonwealth Railways GM Class, and the NSW 42 and 421 Class diesel locomotives.

No doubt the streamlined styling of Loewy also strongly influenced some of our local steam loco's, like the Victorian S Class, the NSWGR 38 Class, and the South Australian 520 Class.

So there, for anyone who likes to know "where things come from", that was a little bit info on where some of the designs for the most iconic locomotives came from, and all from a simple logo on the Google search page.


Rob said...

Hi Darren,
Loewy was also credited with designing the New York Central J3a Hudson see

You can see some C38 inspiration there I reckon but everyone seems to say the New Haven I5's were the inspiration for the C38's see

I reckon put them both together and you get a C38.


Darren said...

Hi Rob,

Glad my post was of some interest and there is some knowledge of Mr Loewy and his other railway designs out there.

The front nose cone and top cowl venting on the New Haven I5 is very close to what the streamlined 38 Class ended up with, although the side valance and box-pok style wheels on the New York Central J3a are definitely closer to the 38 Class look than what the NH I5 had.

A morphing of the two definitely gives you the basic design for the streamlined 38 Class.


Rob said...

Hi Darren,
I don't know why I thought Raymond Loewy designed the J3a, it was Henry Dreyfuss. Mind you, Google's artwork does remind me of a J3a.