This was the Mercury, the unique retro-futuristic train that still surprises with its design

(Photo: Wikipedia)

“The Train of Tomorrow” so he was called mercury train, an iron titan who defied the railway industry between the 1930s and 1960s in the United States. His style Streamline Modernehas maintained it over the years as a work of art, because its design was inherited from the art deco

Horizontal and curved lines predominate in the style, which is also better known as retrofuturistic, that is still recognized in buildings, cars, furniture and movies as The Rocketeer, produced by Walt Disney, Metropolis by Fritz Lang or The Great Gatsby. In any of these cases you can see the splendor of the time, which remains in people’s memory.

The mercury train is a great representative of Streamline Moderne, Which was designed by Henry Dreyfuss, who defied the conventions of that time in the United States with his modern designs. But not everything was aesthetic, since he also made an effort so that the Train had state-of-the-art engineering, taking the colossal iron to travel up to 130 kilometers per hour.

(Photo: American Rails)

But not everything was “rosy”, since initially the project had had a setback when lThe tender documents were canceled abruptly. At that time, it was believed that the powerful trains would no longer be manufactured, however, it occurred to Dreyfuss that they could recycle materials old for construction.

The proposal was accepted and they managed to carry out the Mercury train line. Using some of the cars and wagons that were in disuse inside the abandoned depots they built the trains for a quarter of the original figure. In addition, the design was not only exterior, it had also included the retro-futuristic style in the interior.

Other aspects that had revolutionized the trains, is that, for example, inside the second car, the rows of seats were placed in two pairs, one facing the other across the aisle, in addition, they had a lounge and a dining room with three sections. Back on the outside was wheel drive lighting, the first of its kind.

mercury train
(Photo: Social networks)

Regardless of budget limits, the trains were an icon in New York, Chicago, Cleveland and Cincinnati. Over the years and some misfortunes, the trains were forced to retire early. Still, the line is remembered for its unique design, luxuries, innovation, and high speeds.

But the Mercury Train was not the only Henry Dreyfuss model that has gone down in history. During the 1930s and 1940s, his designs included telephones, clocks, tractors, thermostats, vacuum cleaners, and more. Among all his iconic retro-futuristic creations, he highlighted the model “The city of tomorrow” that he made for General Electric and that was part of the New York World’s Fair in 1939.

The Mercurys ceased operations in the late 1950s. The Cincinnati Mercury was the first to stop running, when rail service declined, being phased out entirely in October 1975. The Chicago Mercury was subsequently decommissioned in April 1958. Finally, the Cleveland Mercury was discontinued on July 11. of 1959. After its end, new models and designs arrived, such as the Cardinal that was established in 1977 and is still in operation.

(Photo: American Rails)


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