Universal Design

About this collection

Universal design principles prioritize accessibility for people regardless of age and ability in product and environment creation. The origin of these concepts can be traced to the rehabilitation engineering and assistive technologies that were developed during and after World War II to meet the needs of veterans with disabilities. This online collection explores the industrial design careers of two pioneers of universal design, Thomas Lamb (1896-1988) and Marc Harrison (1936-1998), and features approximately 500 documents and images digitized in conjunction with a web exhibit on the subject.

    To learn more about Hagley Library collections associated with universal design, view the following finding aids and collection descriptions: Thomas Lamb papers, Marc Harrison papers, Marc Harrison photograph collection.
    Image: Coffee pot with Wedge-Lock handle designed by Thomas Lamb. Click to view.

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Bernice I. Behnke to Marc Harrison
Letter sent along with a summary of presentations at the Blood Program Nursing Conference.
Wear-Ever Publication
Wear-Ever News (Oct. 1, 1954), vol. 53, no. 40
Panorama Magazine Cover
Panorama (July 31, 1956), vol. 55, no. 2-M
The Blade [November 4, 1959] excerpt
Cover of Vol. 11, No. 18
The Blade [July 27, 1959] excerpt
Cover of Vol. 11, No. 30
The Blade [October 31, 1955] excerpt
Cover of Vol. 7, No. 44
The Blade [October 31, 1955] excerpt
Cover of Vol. 7, No. 44
The Blade [February 23, 1953] excerpt
Cover of Vol. 5, No. 8
John Seymour Winslow of Macfadden Publications to Thomas Lamb
Letter informing Lamb of the cancellation of a children's feature in Modern Marriage.
Otis-Lawson Company to Tom Lamb Company
Letter accepting the design for Adolf the Pig for license, manufacture, and distribution.
William O'Neil to Thomas Lamb et al.
Letter concerning proposed letterhead for the American Designers' Institute.
Eugene F. Murphy of Veterans Administration to Scientific Handle Company
Letter requesting signatures before testing can begin on Lamb's crutch and cane handles by the Prosthetic Testing and Development Laboratory.
Thomas Lamb to Major Frederick Fink
Letter requesting confirmation as to whether or not the Lamb Lim-Rest crutch will be adopted by military hospitals.
Tom Lamb the Handle Man
Article published in Industrial Design (Feb. 1954), Vol. 1, No. 1
Come, let me clutch thee
New Yorker article profiling Thomas Lamb