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John McLeod Little (1906-1996)


        U.S. industrial designer born in Minneapolis, Minnesota who studied at the Chicago Academy of Fine Arts, the Art League of Minneapolis, and the Minneapolis School of Art from 1927 to 1929, after which he worked at the advertising agency of batten, baron, Durstine & Osborn. In 1931 he opened an industrial design firm, J.M. Little and Associates in Minneapolis.

        While managing his office, he accepted professorships in the field of industrial design at the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, and later at the University of California at Berkeley. In 1936, he joined the industrial design firm of Van Doren & Associates in Toledo, Ohio. When Van Doren left to establish a second office in Philadelphia, Little remained in charge of the Toledo Office.

       After World War II, as a member of the Society of Industrial Designers (SID), Little lectured on product design at an SID Product Design Conference at Lehigh University in 1949, and continued to lead the Toledo office of Van Doren & Associates until 1957, when Van Doren passed away and the Toledo office was closed.



  Excerpted from “Designers of the Machine Age” by Carroll Gantz, to be published 2014 by McFarland & Company, Inc.

100 Years of Design consists of excerpts from a book by Carroll M. Gantz, FIDSA, entitled, Design Chronicles: Significant Mass-produced Designs of the 20th Century, published August 2005 by Schiffer Publications, Ltd.