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From the View-Master to Sears trash cans, this man designed our world

December 6, 2018 - By Harry McCracken

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Charles Harrison designed hundreds of familiar household goods—and, as an African-American executive in the 1960s, helped to blaze new trails.

As a child of the 1960s and 1970s, I grew up in a world imagined by industrial designer Charles Harrison—I just didn’t know it. The New York Times has published a wonderful obituary by Katharine Q. Seelye of Harrison, who died on November 29 at 87. I’m just sorry I had to read about his passing in order to appreciate his extraordinary career: Harrison, an African American, went from being refused a job at Sears because of his race to becoming the company’s chief designer.

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