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14 American Design Exports in Celebration of the Fourth of July

In celebration of the USA’s Independence Day, this is an eclectic smattering of the country’s finest design exports.

Eames Shell Chairs

Eames Shell Chair Group. Designed by Charles and Ray Eames. Image © 2016 Herman Miller, Inc.
The Eames Shell Chair Group. Designed by Charles and Ray Eames. Image © 2016 Herman Miller, Inc.

The Eameses

Charles and Ray Eames posing with chair bases
Charles and Ray Eames posing with their chair bases. Image courtesy of Eames Office, LLC via Wallpaper*.
Ray and Charles Eames selecting slides. Image courtesy of Eames Office, LLC via Wallpaper*.
Ray and Charles Eames selecting slides. Image courtesy of Eames Office, LLC via Wallpaper*.

Herman Miller

A name synonymous with midcentury modern classics and contemporary furniture design. Image © 2016 Herman Miller, Inc.
Herman Miller is name synonymous with midcentury modern classics and contemporary furniture design. Image © 2016 Herman Miller, Inc.

Shinola Shoe Polish

Shinola shoe polish. Produced in small batches in Chicago by C.A. Zoes Manufacturing. Image © Shinola 2016.
Shinola shoe polish. Produced in small batches in Chicago by C.A. Zoes Manufacturing. Image © Shinola 2016.

Shinola was originally established in 1907 in Rochester, New York. Trading for over fifty years, the company was best known for its shoe polish. Shinola made considerable business strides throughout the era of the Great Depression and in the years that followed. Sadly its image and branding were tarnished in the wake of the now famous colloquialism: “you don’t know shit from Shinola.” After that time Shinola’s sales declined and the company ceased trading in 1960. The brand name was purchased by a conglomerate in 2011 and Shinola set up home in Detroit city. Nowadays it makes watches, leather goods, bicycles, stationery and of course, shoe polish. Shinola’s products are predominantly made in the USA.

The Baseball Glove

Shinola + Nokona Baseball Glove. Nokona has been manufacturing ball gloves in the USA since 1934. Image © Shinola 2016.
Shinola + Nokona Baseball Glove. Nokona has been manufacturing ball gloves in the USA since 1934. Image © Shinola 2016.

The Steele Canvas Basket

The Steele Canvas Basket was first manufactured in 1921. Family-owned and run, the Steele Canvas Basket Corp. is continues to skilfully construct its baskets in Massachusetts. Image © Steele Canvas Basket Corp.
The Steele Canvas Basket was first manufactured in 1921. Family-owned and run, the Steele Canvas Basket Corp. still continues to skilfully construct its baskets in Massachusetts. Image © Steele Canvas Basket Corp.

The Glass House and Philip Johnson

Architect Philip Johnson's Glass House. Photo by Stacy Bass, courtesy of The Glass House, via Connecticut Magazine.
Architect Philip Johnson’s Glass House. Photo by Stacy Bass, courtesy of The Glass House, via Connecticut Magazine.

Tractor Stools

Designed in 2001, the BassamFellows Tractor Stools are an icon of contemporary design. Photo by Dan Tobin Smith courtesy of BassamFellows.
Designed in 2001, the BassamFellows Tractor Stools are an icon of contemporary design. Photo by Dan Tobin Smith courtesy of BassamFellows.

Artwork by Bruce Nauman

 "Run from Fear, Fun from Rear" (1972) by Bruce Nauman, an American artist and artist. Image © Phaidon.
“Run from Fear, Fun from Rear” (1972) by Bruce Nauman, an American artist and sculptor. Image © Phaidon.

The Sunburst Clock

The Sunburst Clock was designed in 1949 by George Nelson, a founder of American Modernism. Image © Hive.
The Sunburst Clock was designed in 1949 by George Nelson, a founder of American Modernism. Image © Hive.

The Nelson Marshmallow Sofa

The Nelson Marshmallow sofa, designed in 1956 by George Nelson and and Irving Harper. Image © 2016 Herman Miller, Inc.
The quirky Nelson Marshmallow sofa was designed in 1956 by George Nelson and Irving Harper. Image © 2016 Herman Miller, Inc.

The Pecan Pie

Sticky and sweet. Yes the American pecan pie is indeed as good as the famous apple pie. This image shows Tom Ford's pecan pie, beautifully styled in homage to A Single Man. Photo by Richard Foster © 2016 Wallpaper*. 
Sticky and sweet. Yes the American pecan pie is indeed as good as the famous apple pie. This image shows American fashion designer and film director Tom Ford’s pecan pie, beautifully styled in homage to A Single Man. Photo by Richard Foster © 2016 Wallpaper*.

The Rainbow Flag

The Rainbow Flag by artist Gilbert Baker.
The Rainbow Flag by artist Gilbert Baker. This image: The Rainbow Flag waving in the wind at San Francisco’s Castro District. Photo by Benson Kua via Wikimedia Commons.

The Rainbow Flag was designed by American artist and civil rights activist Gilbert Baker. The famous flag was created in the attic gallery of San Francisco’s Gay Community Center, where a team of around thirty volunteers dyed, cut, sewed and ironed many yards of cotton. Two Rainbow Flags were raised on 25 June 1978 at the United Nations Plaza in downtown San Francisco. MoMA acquired the Rainbow Flag in 2015, introducing this universal symbol of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender pride into its authoritative and considerable design collection.

The American Flag

This American Flag is hand sewn in the USA by All Seasons Apparel. Image © Shinola 2016.
This American Flag is hand sewn in the USA by All Seasons Apparel. Image © Shinola 2016.

Have a happy Fourth of July.

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