Eames Design Films (trains • toys • films • design)

Charles and Ray Eames are probably the best known US designers of the mid 20C . In addition to the architecture and furniture designs for which they are famous, they made short films as educational and moving image elements in multi-media exhibition presentations.

One of their films is called Toccata for Toy Trains. The film was made in 1957. You can watch it, here


Charles and Ray Eames first became famous for their development of moulded plywood splints for the US military during WW2. This materials technology was transferred into furniture production. In the late 1940s they were invited, by Architecture Today, to design a case study house. The CSHs were experiments in new types of domestic architecture and the Eames house was constructed entirely of readily available standard parts.

Charles and Ray Eames were part of a west-coast design scene that included colleagues and associates – Herbert Matter, Saul Bass and Billy Wilder (what a gang).

The idea of using toys to communicate complex ideas of mechanical interaction and of systemic organisation was entirely appropriate for the Eames studio. The spirit of Eames is one of fun and of possibility. The communication of life’s unlimited potential (enhanced by science, materials and technology) provided for a powerful message of American progress.

The opening part of the film is a bit like Pacific 231. I posted about that, here


Go Eames!

I forgot to mention that there are thousands of films about model railways and train toys on the internet!

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