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Thomas Babbit Lamb
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Lamb, Thomas Babbit

Carroll Gantz
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Thomas Babbit Lamb

A US inventor, industrial designer and cartoonist, Tom Lamb was born in New York City. He studied at the Art Students League and New York University while working for a textile studio and served in the US Navy in WW I. In the 1920s, Lamb wrote and illustrated children's books and had monthly page in Good Housekeeping magazine called "Kiddyland Movies", which spawned a line of children's products. Lamb became interested in hands through drawing and the study of anatomy. He developed ergonomic handle designs starting in 1941 based on an extensive study of hand mechanics and finger strength and patented the designs in 1945. Lamb’s designs became among the first scientifically-designed ergonomic handle shapes produced in quantity, when his designs, the Wedge-Lock Cutco line of cutlery were introduced in 1952 by Alcas, a subsidiary formed by ALCOA and Case Cutlery, a division of Alcoa formed in 1948. The exclusive cutlery was sold door to door by invitation only. In 1954, Lamb's handle designs were featured in a show at the Museum of Modern Art, in a Fortune magazine article, and in the first issue of Industrial Design magazine. Tom Lamb was a member of IDSA and died in New Canaan, CT. Wedge-Lock cutlery continues to be sold door to door by invitation even today, with no change in Tom Lamb’s original designs.

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.
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