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Lens Bowl, 1932

This is a Bowl. It was designed by Walter Dorwin Teague. It is dated 1932. Its medium is mold-blown glass. It is a part of the Product Design and Decorative Arts department.

For the year of 1932 that Teague was engaged on a design contract with the Steuben Division of Corning Glass Works, he primarily worked from his office in Manhattan and sent his designs to be carried out on the factory floor. Once a moth, Teague visited the town of Corning. Riding by train, it is likely that Teague would have observed the pressed-glass lenses that Corning Glass Works produced for railroad signals and locomotive lights. Or once he arrived at Corning he may have also seen these designs in production.[1] The concave shape of this shallow stepped lens was designed to disperse light so that it could be seen from a distance. This design was patented in 1877 by Charles F. Houghton. The concentric lines and simple geometry of the bowl appealed to Teague, who adapted it for domestic use. This design concept must have been particularly appealing to Steuben since it took advantage of design tools and materials already in production, therefore making its overall cost comparably low. Teague used the same molds as the factory did for the railroad signal lights. The original patent number from the mold has been ground off at the bottom of this bowl, leaving a visible spot on its base.

This object was donated by George R. Kravis II. It is credited Gift of George R. Kravis II.

  • Bowl
  • glass.
  • Gift of Mrs. Jefferson Patterson.
  • 1981-13-35
  • Bowl
  • glass.
  • Gift of Paul F. Walter.
  • 1991-30-12
  • Bowl
  • ochre glass.
  • Gift of Rodman Wanamaker.
  • 1919-24-26

Our curators have highlighted 3 objects that are related to this one.

  • Bowl
  • mold-blown, sand-blasted, acid-etched, and wheel-cut glass.
  • Gift of George R. Kravis II.
  • 2018-22-34
  • 1A Gift Kodak Camera And Box
  • leather-covered metal, chrome-plated and enameled metal, glass (camera);....
  • Gift of George R. Kravis II.
  • 2015-41-2-a,b

Its dimensions are

H x diam.: 34.9 × 10.2 cm (13 3/4 in. × 4 in.)

Cite this object as

Lens Bowl, 1932; Designed by Walter Dorwin Teague (American, 1883–1960); mold-blown glass; H x diam.: 34.9 × 10.2 cm (13 3/4 in. × 4 in.); Gift of George R. Kravis II; 2018-22-35

This object was previously on display as a part of the exhibition The Jazz Age: American Style in the 1920s.

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If you would like to cite this object in a Wikipedia article please use the following template:

<ref name=CH>{{cite web |url=https://collection.cooperhewitt.org/objects/404536675/ |title=Lens Bowl, 1932 |author=Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum |accessdate=25 September 2022 |publisher=Smithsonian Institution}}</ref>