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The Western Clippers Designed by Brooks Stevens

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  • One of the late 1930s Western Clippers Designed by Brooks Stevens

Brooks Stevens was one of the most successful and prolific American industrial designers in the pre and post-World War II era. His firm Brooks Stevens Industrial Design produced concepts and visions for everything from coffee pots and kitchenware to the design of the famous Olympian Hiawatha Train for the Milwaukee Railroad in 1947.

We recently covered the Stevens designed Zephyr Land-Yacht (and have found the surviving tractor and talked with its owner and Steven’s Grandson) and would like to continue our coverage with the Western Clippers and its variants. One the Clippers, which is seen here were designed for the Western Publishing Company in Racine, Wisconsin to use as mobile sales rooms.

Seventy-five years after being designed and built, information on the Clippers and the related smaller motor homes is hard to find online. That is were you come in; we would like to ask our readers for help in finding more information about them, if you can direct us to anything covering these streamlined designs please let us know. The photos are courtesy of the Milwaukee Art Museum.


6 responses to “The Western Clippers Designed by Brooks Stevens

  1. The interior ceiling lights appear to be the same as those used in later GM buses; specifically a 1956 city bus that I worked on.

  2. These were built by the LeMoon Truck Company in Chicago not long before they went out of business. The stopped making trucks in 1938. There was one of these in Denver a few years ago. A guy was renovating it in Englewood and then he moved and I lost track of it. It was very rough. He was going to mount the body on a Ford E350 van chassis. There was no engine in it.

  3. I wish I had known about the Clippers when I worked at Western Publishing 1966-76. No doubt there were still old-timers who were familiar with them. A good source would have been the late John Kaiser, VP of sales, who drove a wonderful 1940 Cadillac 75 coupe to the office daily.

  4. There is additional info on this vehicle and more of Stevens’ designs in Popular Science, December 1942, Pages 82-86. You can see the article here:

    blog dot modernmechanix dot com/your-victory-car/#more

    This article also mentions a publishing company van, but the interior appears to be totally different (look at the ceiling lights and joints). A description is on the last page of the piece.

    • That’s a fascinating article as Stevens dishes out a dizzying array of post-war transportation prophesies. A few even seem to have come to pass.The unit pictured above is indeed different as it has a seating area as well as forward slanting windows (another iteration of that “speed” effect dating back to the first auto racing photos?) that necessitated some specially cut Venetian blinds.

      There is a display of the company’s budget-priced children’s books and games on the counters while the one gent is no doubt showing off the latest offerings on a film-strip projector, the mechanical precursor of today’s dread sleep-inducing PowerPoint presentation.

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