This Black History Month, consider that Madame C. J. Walker is not the only African American business icon in the beauty salon. The chair you sit in, the curling iron you use to get ‘that look’ may have been designed by Charles ‘Chuck’ Harrison, one of the most prolific and creative industrial designers in American history. Explore his story and surprising work in A Life’s Design to see why the Smithsonian honored him with its Lifetime Achievement award.
Beyond Madame CJ: Black Presence in the Beauty Salon
1931 - 2018
Charles “Chuck” Harrison is a designer, educator and speaker specializing in industrial design across multiple consumer products areas. The primary portion of his career was spent working for Sears Roebuck & Company, beginning as a freelancer, then as a staff designer and later as the head of the company’s design department. A prolific designer, Harrison’s work touched almost every area of household products from cribs to tractors and everything in between.