I discovered Alfons Thoyer’s pamphlet, Introducing examples of work executed by A. Thoyer Technical Drafting and Art Service, at Whiting’s Old Paper a couple of years ago. I’m guessing it was produced sometime during the 1940s. I share it with you because, to me, his work is emblematic of a workman-like designer of that period and offers a good example of the kind of retail, commercial art that led up to the digital revolution of the 1980s. The run-of-the-mill work that kept the mill running. (Here’s a downloadable 2MB PDF)
As you look at his work, remember that these illustrations and designs were ink on paper–created using pens, airbrushes, knives, gouges, burnishers, t-squares, and such.
Since then, just to satisfy my curiosity, I have looked online to see if I could find out more about him. What I ended up learning was that Alfons Thoyer was originally Alfons Theuer. And that he and his family fled Germany in 1926 to escape the Hitler regime.
He shows up in the 1940 United States Census for Queens County in New York–with his occupation listed as, “Drafting Service.” I found that his daughter, Irene, who passed away in 2004 which led me to his grandson, who I ended up sharing this PDF of the pamphlet with.
Funny that, at the same time I was doing my search for Thoyer, I wrote a post about the American Geographical Society Library Digital Map Collection, and stumbled upon a map published in 1936 by, you guessed it, A. Thoyer.
Takes me way back. It deserves to be celebrated. Working by hand develops skill and brings talent to life