Sunday, July 10, 2005

Designer of the month [July] : Douglas Scott
The lead designer of the Routemaster Double-Decker Bus

"The double-decker bus, which has become such an evocative symbol of London, was first introduced in 1925 when the London General Omnibus Company finally secured official approval for buses with covered top decks. The first double-decker was the NS-type, but the most memorable was introduced thirty years later when the Routemaster took to the road.

Developed over nine years from 1947 to 1956 by a team led by Douglas Scott (1913-1990), the Routemaster was designed with mass-production in mind. By constructing a bus from the maximum number of interchangeable parts, Scott cut the cost not only of the initial tooling and manufacturing, but of repairs and maintenance too. He also equipped it with the latest automotive engineering innovations such as power steering, an automatic gearbox, hydraulic brakes, independent springs and heating controls.

Passengers loved the Routemaster for its distinctive ‘brick’ silhouette, with a flatter front and less prominent engine than its predecessors, and for its appealing interior features such as the ‘lovers’ seat’ at the back, wind-down windows and soft lighting. The Routemaster remained in active service for nearly fifty years. After several reprieves, it was finally withdrawn in 2004."

Brought to you by the Design Museum. America stands with Britain.


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