Honeywell Chronotherm - Gimme that house.

This ad for Honeywell thermostats is from 1943 concerns itself mostly with war bonds. For those younger than sixty: a war bond is just a low-interest loan to the government in a time of war. War bonds are purchased by citizens on a voluntary basis to assist the government in financing a major war. The interest paid on war bonds is generally less than what can be gotten on other types of investments, so the basic motivation is that of helping out with the war effort.

Yes, very nice, but look at that unbelievably cool house!
In 1943, Art Deco had mostly run it's course, but it's sleek sensibility had been given a new life in "streamlining". I could try to paraphrase, but Wikipedia says it best...

"As the depression decade of the 1930s progressed, Americans saw a new aspect of the Art Deco style emerge in the marketplace: Streamlining. The Streamlining concept was first created by industrial designers who stripped Art Deco design of its fauna and flora in favor of the aerodynamic pure-line concept of motion and speed developed from scientific thinking."

There's nothing I don't like about this house. This ad was scanned from American Home magazine, and there is a definite sense, in flipping through the pages, that America was thinking about two things at the time. One was World War 2 (duh). The other is modernism. This ad is just one example from that magazine of America's preoccupation with the future and minimalism. Maybe it went hand in hand with the idea of economy, something they could thank WWII for? Maybe simplification was an easier pill to swallow than the over-ornamentation of classicism? There's no maybe about the fact that everybody was more than eager to look forward to better times. I dunno, though. I can just as easily see people taking comfort in styles of the past, when things are grim.

Look at the car in the garage, though. That's a dead giveaway. Designers in the 40's were still not so great in imagining cars of the future. The car is very vertical, and current cars are very horizontal and low to the ground. Hey! A two-car garage! That was a pretty rare idea in 1943. Very few people could imagine owning two cars at the time. Futuristic indeed.

Lastly, I like the near-perfect isometric perspective of the illustration. I know exactly where I'd park my Zaxxon spaceship when I come home from a hard day of using my space bullets to line up my ship to fly through small holes in fortress walls. Pew pew pew!


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