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Pressed Steel Car Company Plywood Freight Car, Cutaway Perspective

A work made of mixed media on paper.

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  • A work made of mixed media on paper.


c. 1949/50


Bertrand Goldberg
American, 1913-1997

About this artwork

By the late 1940s, Goldberg’s work with prefabrication led to a commission from the Pressed Steel Car Company (PSCC) to develop manufactured products for its newly acquired plant, a former Pullman factory. After an initial scheme for delivery trucks, Goldberg designed a novel railroad boxcar that used plywood laminates as an alternative to steel, which was in short supply during the Korean War. Christened the Unicel, “The Freight Car of the Future Today,” Goldberg’s monolithic plywood tube offered ample strength and rigidity, as well as insulation superior to metal for refrigerated cars. Not only did this project further the architect’s interests in industrial production, but it also allowed him to develop a full range of promotional materials—from a logo and brochures, to elaborate product displays for the Unicel unveiling at the Waldorf Astoria Hotel in New York. Most importantly, however, his discovery of the structural qualities and economy of the Unicel launched his interest in tube and shell architectural forms, which would define his mature career.


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Architecture and Design


Bertrand Goldberg (Architect)


Pressed Steel Car Company Plywood Freight Car, Cutaway Perspective




Designed 1944–1955


Mixed media on paper


76 × 101 cm (29 15/16 × 39 3/4 in.)

Credit Line

The Archive of Bertrand Goldberg, gifted by his children through his estate

Reference Number


Extended information about this artwork

Object information is a work in progress and may be updated as new research findings emerge. To help improve this record, please email . Information about image downloads and licensing is available here.


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