LIFE kindly invited me to guest edit a photo slideshow about the great industrial designer Raymond Loewy. I selected the photos from LIFE's archives and wrote the captions.
Six years after opening his office in New York in 1927, Loewy created this pencil sharpener, which looks as if it might have been designed using a wind tunnel. The pointed shape nicely conveys the purpose of the machine, while still offering a bit of mystery, and even adventure, to anyone brave enough to introduce a pencil into its jet-black lacuna. The warm wooden crank, meanwhile, invites users to interact with a device that, in all other respects, appears to be alien technology.