Harry Ransom CenterThe University of Texas at Austin

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Norman Bel Geddes (American, 1893-1958)

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Norman Bel Geddes Database

Job 237, Horizons, 1931-1935, 1956-1957

Summary: Geddes’s reputation as a futurist was cemented in 1932 with the publication of his book, Horizons. Opening with the declaration “we enter a new era,” Geddes presented not only his real-life products but also visionary schemes for vast transportation networks comprising floating airports, streamlined flying cars, airplanes large enough to function as aerial hotels, and ocean liners that could house 2,000 people. Hopeful antidotes to the dark economic realities of the Depression, some of these ideas were nonetheless so strange that one magazine felt compelled to ask its reluctant readership in the article’s headline: “Are YOU Afraid of the Unexpected?”

Horizons was published by Little, Brown & Company, in November 1932. Copies are cataloged in the Theatre Arts Library.

(click image for description)

Box/Location Folder Description
box 11 237.1 Contract, 1932 copy of 13Aug1931 agreement.
box 11 237.2 Correspondence re book contract Feb, Aug1931.
box 11 237.3 Client correspondence, meeting minutes Apr-Nov1932.
box 11 237.4 Correspondence --- Complimentary & post publication requests Nov1932-1935, 1956-1957.
box 11 237.5 8 Photostats of illustrations; 1 negative envelope.
damaged flat files, drawer 20 237.1 1 Rendering of illustration (plate 74).
photo box 5 237.1 71 Photographs of illustrations, some with captions.
negative box 2 237.1 41 Negatives of illustrations; 1 negative envelope. [2 damaged]
negative box 2 237.2a 41 Negatives, etc. (continued).
negative box 42 237.2b 41 Negatives, etc. (continued). [nitrate]
negative box 3 237.3 41 Negatives, etc. (continued). [1 damaged]
damaged flat files, drawer 1 237.2 21 Blueprints of bookcover layout and 56 page layouts for illustrations.
photo box 5 237.2 4 Photographs (2 by Steichen).
box 11a 237.6 Publicity Writing --- Publisher's flyer. "Horizons" pamphlet by Institute of Aero-Dynamic Research. Offprints 1932-1933.
flat box 2 237.1 Second proof of Horizons excerpts pamphlet.
flat box 2 237.2 1 Drawing and 2 Photostats of Streamlining Pattern Air Currents.
oversize box 3 237.1 Publicity --- Photostat of book cover & clipping text.
box 11a 237.7-8 Publicity --- Clippings 1932-1933.
flat file 237.3 Publicity --- Clipping, "A Peep into the Future by the Spectacular Norman Bel Geddes, Former Detroit Artist," The Detroit News, 1 Jan. 1933.
box 11a 237.9 Manuscript --- Cut pages Chapter 1-4.
box 11a 237.10-11 Manuscript --- Title page sheets.
box 11a 237.12-14 Manuscript --- 1st draft with autograph corrections.
box 12 237.15-16 Manuscript --- As delivered to publisher.
box 12 237.17 Manuscript --- NBG suggested page layout.
box 12 237.18-20 Manuscript --- Page proofs with autograph corrections by NBG, Frances Waite, Worthen Paxton.