Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Damsels of Design

Photo courtesy of the GM Photo Store at http://www.gmphotostore.com/  Now go buy a copy.
The women in this image were a team of 1950s talented GM automotive designers known collectively as the Damsels of Design. Back row - left to right are Sue Vanderbilt, Ruth Glennie, Harley Earl, Jeanette Linder, and Peggy Sauer. Front row - left to right are Marjory Ford Pohlman, and Sandra Longyear.

Yesterday I mentioned Peggy Sauer who was hired as a designer for Oldsmobile in the mid 1950s.  Peggy was part of a broader group, referred to as the Damsels of Design.  Harley Earl - GM's legendary Vice President of Design came up the idea and earl hired six women designers to add their input into the auto design world just as American's were accepting the idea that a two car family was going to be the norm, not the exception.

The women were given various tasks, and showed their talents, coming up with interior ideas, color combinations and suggestions for improved interior designs.

Unfortuntaly for Earl and the ladies, Earl's heir apparent Bill Mitchell didn't care for women in the mans world of auto design.  After Earl retired Mitchell and the "Damsels" parted company.  While Mitchell came up with some beautiful cars while Overlord of the design area, he did lay a couple two ton eggs that went a long way to damage GM's leadership, including the 1971 Buick Riveria, the 1974-76 Cadillacs and his swan song ode to pimps everywhere, the 1980 Cadillac Seville.

1 comment:

  1. women like the feel of richness....according to bess myerson, that is.