The HMV Electric Convector Heater by Christian Barman

Electric Fan Heater by Cristian Barber

Most electric heaters are radiant types, and the reflector has been the most important part of their design, with varying degrees of success. It is also common for the design to try to hide the true nature of the appliance by making it look like fake coal or log fire, which is still done. Christian Barman’s 1934 HMV Electric Convector Heater, on the other hand, was more influenced by lighting design than other electric items. This shows that Barman had a background in architecture. Between 1935 and 1941, he worked as a publicity officer for the London Passenger Transport Board with Frank Pick. During that time, he also made designs for bus shelters, platform seats, and other components. The heater’s stepped parabolic curves, which are made of chromed or enamelled metal, are both functional and beautiful. They store and direct heat, but the whole thing looks great. Even though the HMV heater isn’t streamlined in the strictest sense, it still has the look of Streamline Modern and can be seen as a classic example of that movement.

Sources

Byars, M., & Riley, T. (2004). The design encyclopedia. Laurence King Publishing. https://amzn.to/3ElmSlL

Pearce, C. (2008). Twentieth Century Design Classics.

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