Model Builders Inc Blog

Raymond Loewy's 1953 prototype ashtray

Posted by Hal Chaffee on Tue, Oct 15, 2013 @ 11:27 PM

The prototype stainless steel ashtray for the 1954 Greyhound Scenicruiser bus was one of nearly 100  prototypes, models or parts Raymond Loewy Associates hired Model Builders, Inc. to fabricate in the 1950's. Raymond Loewy Associates was responsible for the design and prototype of the Scenicruiser bus.  The Scenicruiser is listed in several prominent design books as one of the 100 best designs of the 20th Century.

We thought you might enjoy learning about this unique modern ashtray design. The prototype  is up for auction for the first time on Thursday October 17, 2013 at as lot 175. See .

Raymond Loewy ashtray

The ashtray is 4 1/2" wide X 4 1/2" high X 1 1/4" thick.

Loewy ashtray sketchAbove are some sketches of the ashtray made prior to the fabrication of the prototype.

Raymond Loewy ashtray side view

This sideview shows the ashtray in the open position. The pivot point for the front section of the ashtray is at the pin head shape at the bottom. The curve at the top is to keep ashes from falling onto the back of seat it is mounted on.

Raymond Loewy ashtray lever pulled

Just rotate the lever downward to dump the ashes or cigarette into the chamber below.

Raymond Loewy ashtray opened

The front/two sides of the ashtray is a pressure fit with two dimples (one on each side near the top) locking it in the closed position. Simply slide the ashtray up off the mounting plate and open up the front/sides by pulling outward the top of the two sides The masking tape on the edge was added to tighten the fit on this prototype. In production the fit would be more precise due to more accurate tooling so there would be no need for the tape.

Raymond Loewy ashtray mounting plate

The fixed mounting plate allows the back side of the ashtray (as seen on the right) to slide down and up easily so the ashtray can be opened, dumped and cleaned  frequently.

Raymond Loewy ashtray Patent Applied For

The patent was applied for but as far as we know was never granted. Note the hinge along the bottom of the ashtray. The "dimples" on the front are a nice design touch.

Model Builders, Inc. is known for helping industrial designers, manufacturers and others go from idea to reality. Take the next step by contacting us at Model Builders, Inc., 773-586-6500 or .

Tags: Scenicruiser, product model, prototype, industrial designer, model builders, model maker, prototypes, model makers, Raymond Loewy, prototype models, industrial design, product models, model builder, industrial designers, prototype model