Bel Geddes Manhattan

Looking for opportunities to increase revenue during the Depression, the Revere Copper & Brass Company started producing giftware items in the early 1930s. They partnered with the industrial designer Norman Bel Geddes, who designed a number of chrome-plated items in a fully modern style for the company, including what became the iconic “Manhattan” cocktail set. Revere released the tray in 1935 and buddied it up with the shaker and cups in 1936, selling it as the “Revere Cocktail Ensemble.” Revere renamed the set as “Manhattan” in 1938. The Manhattan cocktail set is featured in several museum collections as an outstanding example of modern design, including the Brooklyn Museum.

On Design

Sometimes the simplest designs can be the most challenging to reproduce. In this case, the lack of any decorative elements on the shaker made the chrome shader I’d been using too reflective. I found another node setup with a gradient that fixed some of the issue.

Layer Weight Blend 0.8 > ColorRamp Dark Grey to White > Glossy BSDF Roughness 0.08 > Material Output

A more time consuming alternative to try later is a Chrome PBR with a Specular workflow.

Orange background: #C95718

Improvement Areas

The lighting needs improvement, but didn’t want to mess with the setup that was working for the other shakers. Edges on tray could be slightly beveled.