In the midst of ongoing industrialization, the nation underwent an aesthetic revolution. Middle-class consumers came to appreciate that mass-produced objects of everyday life could be both functional and visually pleasing. In a shopping environment catering to consumer choice, industries and manufacturers of all sorts depended on art and design to make their products stand out.
Take a closer look
Notice the gazelle on the Hotpoint tilt-out toaster, so typical of Art Deco styling popular in the 1930s that combined graphical and geometric forms. Advertisements for the toaster attested to its functionality, but—importantly—proclaimed it the company’s “most beautifully designed toaster in over twenty-six years of electric appliance leaders.”