Remembering Raymond Loewy’s Influence on Cockshutt Tractors

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I enjoyed the “Style Makers” article by Robert Pripps in the January 2017 issue of Farm Collector outlining the contributions of several designers, including one who was perhaps the father of industrial design, Raymond Loewy. It should be noted that, in addition to the significant work Loewy did for International Harvester in the late 1930s and into the ’40s, he is also recognized for his design of Canada’s Cockshutt line of 500 series tractors that premiered in 1958.

As the 1950s came to a close, it was evident the streamlined effect of round noses and sleek, narrow detailing had run its course with the public. For Cockshutt, Loewy chose to emphasize a new standard of modern styling. His sheet metal design for the 500 tractors reflected a new “wide-body” approach with bolder, square-type grilles and a side molding that accented the name and model. This move would be followed by many tractor manufacturers in the near future as the new standard. Loewy was awarded first prize for this work in a U.S. industrial design competition.

Dennis McGrew, Lawrence, Michigan

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