The Ford Taurus and its companion, the Mercury Sable, were designed by Jack Telnack, Fritz Mayhew and the Ford staff. The design changed the failing fortunes of the US auto companies by creating a new “aero” look, which was characterized by softer, rounder, more aerodynamic forms than previous Detroit styles. Some called it the “jelly bean” or “flying potato” because of its rounded look. For years, Detroit had been criticized for the sharp, angular and contorted metal forms that were the residual result of the Harley Earl influence of the 1950s.
Introduced in April 1984, the IIc was Apple’s first compact model, the first with user-friendly icon graphics, and the first with significant visual design quality. It was cited as one of the best designs of the year by Time magazine.
The world’s first commercial handheld cellular phone, the Motorola DynaTAC 8000x, received approval from the U.S. Federal Communications Commission (FCC) in 1983, and was introduced to the public in 1984 at a retail price of $3,995 after testing in the Chicago market. The 28-ounce phone was designed by Motorola’s industrial design team headed by manager Rudy Krolopp.
The Dustbuster, the most successful product in Black & Decker history, was introduced in January, 1979. It was designed by Carroll Gantz, FIDSA, when he was Manager of the B&D US Consumer Power Tool Division’s Industrial Design Department.
To keep its leading edge, a new version of the Cuisinart® food processor made its debut in 1978. Meaningful improvements include a work bowl with 46 percent more capacity than before, a considerably stronger and more efficient motor, and an even larger feed tube.
This collaboration between Canon and Texas Instruments (TI) is the first handheld battery-powered electronic calculator. Introduced in the US in 1971, but a year earlier in Japan, it was preceded by nearly five years by a “skunk-works” project at TI. Before it, electronic calculators were large, heavy machines.
Kodak’s carousel projector was a dramatic innovation that established a new typeform for projectors. Previous projectors used linear slide trays below the lens that lifted slides into position. Kodak engineers D.M. Harvey and W.P. Ewald reversed the process to allow slides to fall by gravity into position from a tray above the lens.
In 1961 IBM introduced a revolutionary electric typewriter, the Selectric I, which replaced the standard typebars with a moving interchangeable spherical "golf ball" printing element, while the carriage remained fixed. Development began in 1951, and the sculptured housing was designed starting 1959 by Eliot Noyes, FIDSA (see below). In 1971, a later version, Selectric II, entered the market.