The Future Is Now
December 20, 1943: Norman Bel Geddes Chosen to Design Case for Mark 1
This controversial announcement was not a comment on Bel Geddes’ abilities, but the timing and expense. The case would cost $100,000 and many thought this extravagance could not be afforded during a time of war, WWII.
In 1944 Harvard and IBM introduced the “Mark 1” computer. This was the first digital, programmable computer. It was the size of a large room, weighing five tons and measuring 51 feet long. This machine was designed to do complicated computations for the U.S. Navy and was in use for 15 years.
Norman Bel Geddes (April 27, 1893 – May 8, 1958) was an American industrial designer. Much of his work focused on aerodynamics.
In 1927 Bel Geddes opened an industrial-design studio. He designed a wide range of commercial products, from cocktail shakers to radio cabinets. His designs extended to unrealized futuristic concepts like a teardrop-shaped automobile, or an Art Deco House of Tomorrow. In 1929, he designed “Airliner Number 4,” a 9-deck amphibian airliner that incorporated areas for deck-games, an orchestra, a gymnasium, a solarium, and even two airplane hangars.