Brooks Stevens (1911 – 1995) American Industrial Designer

Oscar Mayer Wienermobile

Brooks Stevens (1911 – 1995) was an American industrial designer. He was born in Wisconsin and was active in Milwaukee. He studied at Cornell University in Utica, New York.

In 1933, to overhaul machinery in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, Stevens set up his workshop. In 1936 he designed the first electric clothes drier. He transformed it from the manufacturers’ concept of a simple heated box into an apparatus that had a glass window built into its door.

He designed the first snowmobile, outboard motor and mass-market jeep. He created the housing for the 1941 Petipoint iron. The 1950 Harley-Davidson motorcycle (with the twin-engine that is still in use today). The 1958 Oscar Mayer Wienermobile (a promotional gimmick) in fibreglass. The 1959 Lawn-Boy power lawnmower. Stevens also designed automobile bodies for Volkswagen and Alfa Romeo.

Stevens designs had mass appeal and are also fuelled by the fact that many of his works were functional daily life objects.

Domestic, household items

Stevens work also encompassed a wide range of domestic household appliances, including kitchen mixers, irons and floor waxers. He worked with Formica in the late 1940s to create Luxwood, the wood grain laminate used on much of the furniture at the time. He was the first to use colour in kitchen appliances, being responsible for the ubiquitous avocado green of the 1950s and 1960s. He taught at the Milwaukee Institute of Art and Design and directed the Brooks Stevens Automotive Museum. The Brooks Stevens Design Centre was built at the Milwaukee Institute of Art and Design. 

A selection of his works

The 1962 Studebaker Hawk Gran Turismo designed by Brooks Stevens
The 1962 Studebaker Hawk Gran Turismo designed by Brooks Stevens
The Stevens-designed Skytop Lounge with its distinctive glassed-in observation area.
The Stevens-designed Skytop Lounge with its distinctive glassed-in observation area.


Byars, M., & Riley, T. (2004). The design encyclopedia. Laurence King Publishing.

Additional Reading

Adams, S. (2021). How design makes us think: And feel and do things. Princeton Architectural Press. Retrieved from

Cuffaro, D. F., & Zaksenberg, I. (2013). The Industrial Design Reference + Specification Book: All the details designers need to know but can never find. Rockport. Retrieved from

Eissen, K., & Steur, R. (2020). Sketching: Drawing techniques for product designers. BIS. Retrieved from

Jang, S., Thaler, M., & Frederick, M. (2020). 101 Things I learned in product design school. Crown, an imprint of Random House, a division of Penguin Random House LLC. Retrieved from

Lefteri, C. (2016). Making it: Manufacturing techniques for product design. Laurence King Publishing. Retrieved from

Milton, A. (2017). Research methods for product design. Laurence King Publishing. Retrieved from

Morris, R. (2016). The Fundamentals of Product Design. Fairchild Books, an imprint of Bloomsbury Publishing Plc. Retrieved from

Sparke, P. (2018). Industrial Design in the modern age. Rizzoli Electra. Retrieved from

Tornincasa, S. (2021). Technical drawing for product design: Mastering Iso Gps and Asme Gd&T. Springer. Retrieved from

As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.

More on Industrial Designers

  • Steve McGugan (b.1962) Canadian Industrial Designer

    Steve McGugan - Canadian Industrial Designer

    Medical Technology and Telecommunications Steve McGugan (b.1962) is a Canadian industrial designer. He was bornRead More →

  • Erwin Komenda (1904 – 1966) Austrian Automobile Designer

    Porsche 356 designed by Erwin Komeda

    In 1934, he joined Ferdinand Porsche’s design bureau in Stuttgart and began work on the styling of the Volkswagen, the people’s car.Read More →

  • Johnson Chou Canadian Designer and Architect

    Johnson Chou featured image

    It was through the Gallery that Chou’s emerging practise of design developed. For its minimalist style and transformational architectural ideas, his design for the spare, but the multi-functional gallery was recognised. The first projects by Chou were the homes and offices of Archive art patrons.Read More →

  • Tucker Viemeister (b.1948) American Product Designer

    Tucker Viemeister graduated from Yellow Springs High School in 1966, went to two different colleges. He ended up studying industrial design at the Pratt Institute, Brooklyn, New York, from which he graduated with a degree in industrial design in 1974. Read More →

  • Elio Martinelli (1922 – 2004) Italian Lighting Designer

    Elio Martinelli featured image

    He and others founded a lighting company in 1942. In 1956, he founded the lighting firm Martinelli Luce in Lucca, designing plastics and metal and producing a perspex hanging lamp published in La Rivista dell’ Arredamento.Read More →

  • Perry King (b. 1938 ) British industrial, graphic and product designer

    Valentine Portable Typewriter featured image

    He worked at Olivetti, where he designed office machinery, starting in 1956. He collaborated with Hans Von Klier on C. Castelli’s corporate design program. He was designing dictating machines for Süd-Atlas Werke in Monaco and electronic apparatus and control systems for Praxis in Milan.Read More →

  • Michael Graves (1934 – 2015) – American architect and industrial designer

    Michael Graves featured image

    Alessi Design Collection Michael Graves (1934 – 2015) was an architect and industrial designer from the United States. He was born in Indianapolis, Indiana, and lived and worked in Princeton, New Jersey. Read More →

  • Eero Aarnio (b. 1932 ) Finnish interior and industrial designer

    Eero Aarnio grayscale

    Finnish designer Eero Aarnio (b. 1932) is a great innovator of twentieth-century furniture. His plastic chairs from the 1960s are pop culture icons that continue to be in demand, which is why Aarnio Originals began manufacturing them again in 2017 after launching at the Stockholm Furniture Fair.Read More →

  • Daniel Weil unconventional industrial designs

    Daniel Weil - Radio Bag

    From 1981, he designed a series· of digital clocks, radios, and lighting for his own firm Parenthesis. His 1984 Andante deconstructed radio was executed with colourful separate parts housed in a clear plastic bag to be wall-hung. It was part of the Anthologie collection for Quartett.Read More →

  • Pedro Miralles (1955 – 1993) Spanish architect and designer

    Pedro Miralles featured image

    In Madrid, he encountered people associated with postmodern culture, including architect Rafael Moneo, his university professor, and members of the Madrid movida movement, such as film director Pedro Almodóvar and fashion designer Jess del Well.Read More →

  • Ross Franklin Littell (1924 – 2000) American textile and furniture designer

    Ross Littell featured image

    Ross Franklin Littell (1924 – 2000) was an American textile and furniture designer known forRead More →

  • Emilio Ambasz Argentine architect and designer

    Flashlights 1983 by Emilio Ambasz

    Emilio Ambasz is an Argentinean who studied architecture at Princeton University from 1960 to 1965, worked at the Museum of Modern Art (MOMA) in New York from 1970 to 1975 as Curator of Design arranged the landmark Italy: The New Domestic Landscape Exhibition in 1972.Read More →

  • Brooks Stevens (1911 – 1995) American Industrial Designer

    Oscar Mayer Wienermobile

    Brooks Stevens was an American industrial designer. He was born in Wisconsin and was active in Milwaukee. He studied at Cornell University in Utica, New York.Read More →

  • George Sakier (1897 – 1965) American Industrial Designer

    George Sakier featured image

    George Sakier (1897 – 1965) was a multifaceted artist who worked as an interior designer,Read More →

  • The brains and Braun of designer Dieter Rams

    The way Dieter Rams tell it good design boils down to something as simple durability. Okay, not durability alone. A Well-designed piece is so self-explanatory that figuring out how to use it as simple as looking at it. And a design develops from the inside out because it involves not only aesthetics but also function.Read More →

  • Carlo Mollino (1905 – 1973) Italian architect and designer

    Carlo Mollino Automobile

    Today, Carlo Mollino seems just as important as when he was alive. The designer left his mark on the world of industrial design of the 20th century through one of a kind objects, incorporating new techniques and materials produced rather than batch productions in the form of collector’s items.Read More →

  • Mario Bellini (1935 – ) Italy’s most versatile designer

    Mario Bellini is one of Italy’s most versatile designers. Trained as an architect, he is known for his furniture and industrial design work. The new forms he developed for contemporary technology and furniture objects inspired designers internationally.Read More →

  • Misha Black (1910 – 1977) British industrial and exhibition designer

    Misha Black Proposal for 1951 Exhibition – 1946

    He was mostly self-taught despite a short period of study at the Central School of Arts and Crafts and in Paris, beginning his professional career in graphic art and design of exhibition stands.Read More →

  • Raymond Loewy (1893 – 1986) – an American Designer

    Raymond Loewy featured image

    He arrived in the United States in 1929, just in time for the great depression. As it happened the beginning of the depression was a fortuitous time for a talented designer with new ideas to arrive in the United States. The old design aesthetic was disappearing with the collapsing economy. Manufacturers wanted to stimulate demand for their products by offering customers new designs, and Loewy had an abundance of them with the ego to match. His mother had always told him, “It is better to be envied than pitied.”Read More →

  • Alfredo Häberli ( b. 1964) Argentinian industrial designer

    Alfredo Häberli featured image

    In Häberli’s design method, the human being is the beginning point. His constructions and items are made to be utilised.Read More →

You may also be interested in

Paul Bacon (1923 – 2015) – created looks for books

Paul Bacon was not a household name, but anyone who has a passion for books will have seen his works. Bacon was an artist, who used minimal imagery and bold typography to sell famous novels such as, “Catch 22” by Joseph Heller, “One Flew Over the Cuckoo Nest’s and Phillip Roth’s “Portnoy’s Complaint”.

Index: abc| def |ghi| jkl | mno| pqr | stu| vwx | yz |

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.