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Modern Master: 1941

Modern Master: 1941

March 31, 1941. "Robert Glassford, residence in Hobe Sound, Florida. Master bedroom. Alice Morgan Carson, architect." If not quite the House of Tomorrow, at least the Bedroom of Next Wednesday. 5x7 acetate negative. View full size.


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Fireplace - brr

Fireplaces are needed in Florida simply because it does get cold here. I have seen snow here in Orlando. A few years ago I was in Miami, and it was 32 at noon! Here in Orlando we get hard freezes four or five times a year. So yes, there is a need for a fireplace in Florida, especially in the pre-heat pump eara.

It still looks very good

In many ways, classic Finnish with the blond wood. True test of a design is that it still looks good 75 years later. Only some of the details look dated.

For the life of this Finnish Minnesotan, I can't figure out why anyone would need a fireplace in Florida.

Antique desk

How interesting to see a working desk that has no electrical outlets anywhere nearby, no drawers, no desk light and is not covered or surrounded by plastic pieces of computer hardware, surge protectors and battery backups. Instead it has a selection of stationery, ink bottle, tape dispenser, a calendar and what looks to be a bottle of glue with a brush applicator and of all things an ashtray.
A simpler time.

[The desk lamp was a hydrogen fusion fixture of time-tested design. I see a wall outlet in the corner. - Dave]

Alice Morgan Carson Hiscock

Alice lived an interesting life. Highlights included:
- going back to school at age 30 to study architecture and landscape architecture, then designing this house
- acting director of MOMA's Department of Industrial Design
- joining the OSS, where she worked with Julia Child, Eero Saarinen and her future husband Earle Hiscock

a Master in the room

Surprising perhaps that this room in Florida in 1942 is filled with the influence of Alvar Aalto, in the furniture. Except for the leather armchair, everything seems to show the influence of the Master.

He only developed the technology to make the stool legs in the foreground in 1933, then applied that technology to other furniture, and only began to sell his furniture designs in 1935. And in 1942 new supplies of his design were probably limited, since Finland was struggling to survive in WWII.

If somebody in this home in Florida still has the original furniture, collectors might be ready to pay a small fortune. More likely by the 60's it looked all dated, and somebody got rid of it at a garage sale, and upgraded to the latest from the Sears catalog.

Be My Guest

The alarm clock is a Telechron "Guest", model 7H89, which was made from 1939-42. Most telechron clocks had beautiful wood cases, but this model was covered with pigskin-grained "Textileather" with striped brown lines.

Place of relaxation - and work

Ah, yes. I could see myself reading by the fire, working hard on whatever you do at a desk, and sleeping as long as I liked in a room like this! Rather pre-post-modern!

Future Retro

I think you can still get furniture that looks like that at Ikea. Minus the leather chair.

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