Norman Bel Geddes was an American theatrical and industrial designer. Contents. 1 Early life Bel Geddes’s book Magic Motorways () promoted advances in highway design and transportation, foreshadowing the Interstate Highway. Magic motorways by Norman Bel Geddes, , Random house edition. Title, Magic Motorways. Author, Norman Bel Geddes. Publisher, Random House, Original from, the University of Michigan. Digitized, Aug 16,

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Little, Brown, and Company, Silver fabricoid cloth decorated in black. Spine crown lightly bruised, otherwise a fine copy in a fine dust jacket.

Magic motorways.

Tan fabricoid cloth decorated in maroon. Photo illustrated dust jacket. Endpapers and gutters lightly discolored [as usual].

A nearly fine copy in a fine dust jacket. Bel Geddes’ first book HORIZONS is a stunning survey of modernist design, illustrated throughout with drawings, models and photographs of the author’s utopic industrial innovation with chapters on motor cars and buses, railways, airports and airplanes, houses, theatres, restaurants, and more.



Magic Motorways: : Norman Bel Geddes: Books

Geddes belief in the automobile as the defining force of the future was sadly prescient. Norman Bel Geddes – was the first person to seriously apply the concepts of aerodynamics and streamlining to industrial design.

To Geddes, streamlining illustrated courage: Following old grooves of thought is one method of playing safe. But it deprives one of initiative and takes too long. It sacrifices the value of the element of surprise.

At times, the only thing to do is to cut loose and do the unexpected! It takes more even than imagination to be progressive. It takes vision and motorwahs.

File:Magic Motorways by Norman Bel Geddes – Wikimedia Commons

Bel Geddes expounded a philosophy of “essential forms” evolved from their systems of use. He helped to establish a new professional niche — that of “industrial designer,” arguing for a closer relationship between engineering and design. Bel Geddes was both a visionary and a pragmatist who had a significant role in shaping not only modern America but also the nation’s image of itself as leading the way into the future.


Bel Geddes was a polymath who had no academic or professional training in the activities he mastered — designing stage sets, costumes, and lighting; creating theater buildings, offices, nightclubs, and houses; and authoring prescient books and articles.

Bel Geddes believed that art, as well as architecture and design, could make people’s lives psychologically and emotionally richer.

Chapter 10.1

mktorways He influenced the behavior of American consumers and helped make industrial and theater design into modern businesses. Believing that communication was key to shaping the modern world, Bel Geddes popularized his vision of the future through drawings, models, and photographs. It was an immense model of America, circaseen by 27, visitors daily who exited with a pin proclaiming “I Have Seen the Future.