New Fund Honors Historian and Designer
A memorial fund has been set up in honor of IDSA Fellow and historian Carroll Gantz, who passed away on Nov. 18, 2015 at the age of 84. The fund, set up by Gantz’s brother, Vernon, and associates, will help young people who are aiming to work in arts and design. Donations may be sent to St. Paul's UCC Church, 104 Green Street, Sellersville, PA 18960. Checks may be made out to "Gantz Fund.” “Today’s youth is tomorrow’s future,” says Vernon Gantz.
“Carroll's achievements as a design historian are unmatched,” says Vicki Matranga, H/IDSA, and chair of IDSA’s Design History Special Interest Section. “His discipline and dedication to recording and sharing the history of the profession can’t be repeated.”
Gantz's son Mitch proudly remembers his father’s involvement with, and dedication to, the design world. Gantz was a frequent contributor to INNOVATION magazine. He, along with Matranga and Professor Bret H. Smith, IDSA, served on the committee guest editing the 2015 issue of INNOVATION themed 50/35/50—50 notable IDSA members; 35 years of IDEA winners; and 50 memorable moments in IDSA history. “Our dear friend Carroll Gantz gave his final gift to IDSA with his work on this committee for this issue of INNOVATION,” says Matranga. “It was an honor to be his collaborator and friend.”
"Carroll was a once in a generation presence," says Austen Angell, FIDSA, and IDSA Board of Directors' Chair Emeritus. "I wonder if designers today truly realize how much Carroll did to preserve the story of our profession?"
Gantz holds 30 US design and utility patents. He designed many well-known consumer products including Hoover's 2100 Portable Cleaner in 1964 and Dialamatic upright vacuum cleaner in 1966; and Black & Decker's cordless Dustbuster handheld vacuum cleaner in 1978.
Gantz was inducted into the IDSA Academy of Fellows in 1974 and earned the IDSA Personal Recognition Award in 1986. He served as Chair of the IDSA Board of Directors from 1981–1982 and as IDSA President from 1979–1980.
The Pennsylvania native earned a BFA in industrial design from Carnegie Institute of Technology, now Carnegie Mellon University (CMU), in 1953. Gantz served in the US Army with the National Security Agency as a cryptanalyst from 1953 to 1956. He became a designer and later industrial design manager for the Hoover Company from 1956 to 1972, and rose to industrial design director at Black & Decker. He also served as professor and head of the Design Department at CMU and in 1986, established a consulting business, Carroll Gantz Design in Charleston, SC. Gantz earned national design recognition from the Industrial Designers Institute (IDI) in 1964 and from the International Design Excellence Awards (IDEA) in 1993.
His books include Founders of American Industrial Design, The Industrialization of Design (hailed by a Core77 review as “a treasure trove of information…. With some astonishing details.”), Design Chronicles (co-authored by Matranga) and The Vacuum Cleaner—A History.