The Atomic Age in design is attributed to the 1950’s and into the 1960’s. I love the designs that came out of this era.
I wondered, though, exactly why these colorful geometric shapes that adorned everything from
furniture and home decorations to plates were called “atomic.” Here is what I found out.
Coming out of WWII, the world had seen the first atomic bomb exploded. It was a scary time. How did this translate into the fun designs that followed? I know, right?! Keep reading, I’ll explain.
As the war ended, the materials that were important during the war such as plastics were transformed into salt shakers and Tupperware containers. According to Humanities Magazine, some of the really cool designs that came out of the atomic era were based on the war. The Eames Chair was based on the molded plywood used for splinting injuries during the war. The iconic George Nelson wall clock of the 50’s was designed to be an atom surrounded by 12 electrons.
How cool is that! and something I didn’t realize.
One of the things I like about writing this blog is the stuff I learn about the stuff I love.
Items began sporting motifs that looked like atomic particles.
They showed up on everything from textiles like barkcloth to lighting, dishes, and kitchen counters.
There was always the fear that we could annihilate each other now that we knew the atomic bomb existed. In order to face our fears, we surrounded ourselves with hope for the future by using what we feared to make things we loved.
With the launching of Sputnik in 1957, we were led into the Space Age and design followed suit. It mixed in with motifs of the Atomic Age and the pop culture of the 60’s and mid-century modern until the 1970s came along with its avocado greens and burnt oranges, shifting the look of the American home yet again.That is what I found out about the atomic age of design.
I love the look and the designs that came out of this era and on into the space age. They are some of the most unique designs that came from a place of fear, yet gave America perspective and hope.
If you have time, drop by my Etsy shop and take a look at some cool vintage atomic age treasures. If you like this post, leave me a note here and say hi! See you next week.
Where I like to party Adirondack Girl @ Heart !