Raymond Loewy, (November 5, 1893 – July 14, 1986), was a French-born American whose work for the Pennsylvania Railroad transformed the experience and perception of rail travel for executives, engineers, and passengers alike.
From the GG1 streamline locomotive, to the prototypical “bar car” with its sleek modern interiors, to rail travel advertising, Loewy’s rail designs were sophisticated and unforgettable, capturing a “golden age” in modern transportation.
The partnership between Loewy and the Pennsylvania Railroad produced the class S-1, the longest and heaviest rigid frame, reciprocating steam locomotive ever built. The locomotive was exhibited at the New York World’s Fair of 1939-1940. In addition to locomotives, Loewy's studios provided many designs for the Pennsylvania Railroad, including stations, passenger-car interiors, and advertising materials. By 1949, Loewy employed 143 designers, architects, and draftsmen.
Loewy was a prolific designer whose work has had profound impact on modern life. In addition to the S1 locomotive, he is responsible for the Lucky Strike cigarette packet, the Coca-Cola Bottle, the interiors of Skylab, Schick’s electric razors, the Greyhound bus, the early IBM punch-card machines, and the logos for Shell, Exxon, TWA, and BP. Even the logo of the U.S. Postal Service is the result of Loewy’s keen design mind.