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Object Name: T87F Round Thermostat
Date: ca. 1960
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Medium: Plastic, metal, glass, mercury
Dimensions: Overall (thermostat): 1 5/8 × 3 1/4 in. (4.1 × 8.3 cm) Container (box): 4 1/4 × 4 1/4 × 2 1/2 in. (10.8 × 10.8 × 6.4 cm)
Description: Half-spherical thermostat, body made largely of molded plastic with gold finish; internal metal parts including screws and wires, and a glass mercury thermometer; removable cover gives access to base and inner workings; central dial, covered by clear plastic face, consists of metallic numbering indicating temperature range between 40 and 90 degrees; and painted red metal hands indicate set temperature at top and actual temperature below. A cardboard insert protects mercury thermometer, marked “REMOVE BEFORE / INSTALLATION”; paper tag with installation warning attached to metal prong holding removable cover. Separate molded plastic back plate for wall attachment. Thermostat is in original packaging consisting of: box board box and corrugated cardboard packing frame; single folded sheet of paper with installation instructions; unopened brown paper packet containing three nails; paper packing slip that reads “Packed by 31-19.”
Credit Line: Purchase
Object Number: 2016.28
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Marks: At center in raised metallic lettering “HONEYWELL” above and below, temperature dial: “50 60 70 80”; on interior of base in black ink “T87F 2055 1” ; embossed on reverse “6 / MADE IN U.S.A / ooFA”

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Manufactured by Honeywell, of Minneapolis Minnesota, the Round was designed by Henry Dreyfuss (1904-1972), who filed the first patent for the revolutionary design 1942. Due in part to the distractions of wartime the first Honeywell Round (Model T86) thermostat was not released until 1953. On its debut it quickly became a household standard and has become the iconic thermostat of the 20th century. This T87F dated to circa 1960 is a refinement of those first thermostats, designed to control home cooling systems as well as heating units.

Henry Dreyfuss was an important 20th century American industrial designer who distinguished himself based on his interest in functionality of designs, and object relationships to the human form. Born in Brooklyn, New York, his forty-four-year career includes designs and reworked designs for such products as John Deere tractors, Hoover vacuum cleaners, General Electric refrigerators, Bell Laboratories telephones, Polaroid cameras, in addition to the Honeywell Round.