Tuesday, December 22, 2015

Mercury was the name used by the New York Central Railroad for a family of daytime streamliner passenger trains operating between midwestern cities.  The Mercury train sets were designed by the noted industrial designer Henry Dreyfuss, and are considered a prime example of Art Deco design. The success of the Mercury led to Dreyfuss getting the commission for the 1938 redesign of the NYC's flagship, the 20th Century Limited, perhaps the most famous train in America.
The first Mercury, operating on a daily roundtrip between Cleveland and Detroit, was introduced on July 13, 1936.  The Chicago Mercury, between Chicago and Detroit, and the Cincinnati Mercury, between Cincinnati and Detroit, followed.  The Mercurys lasted until the 1950s, with the final survivor, the original Cleveland Mercury, making its last run on July 11, 1959.
I also like the old school workmen hanging out in their overalls.  Overalls - the sign of skilled workmen which you never see anyone wear anymore.


  1. It would be in style today. Good art put to good function is timeless.

  2. Overalls - the sign of skilled workmen which you never see anyone wear anymore.


  3. Dreyfus also pitched in with the war effort. At the start of the war in 1941 Dreyfuss, along with Raymond Loewy and Walter Dorwin Teague were involved in the design of strategy rooms for the Joint Chiefs of Staff. Dreyfuss built four 13-foot rotating globes, one each for Roosevelt, Stalin, Churchill and the Joint Chiefs.

    During the 60's his design firm published "The Measure of Man", which became the go-to manual for most anyone involved in ergonomic design, especially the military, who had to provide weapons and equipment used by a large cross-section of people. Hatch sizes, controls placement, seat heights, access door sizes - they all were designed with the help of Henrys' data. I think you can even download a pdf online.