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Brightwork: Classic American Car Ornamentation Paperback


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 120 pages
  • Publisher: Chronicle Books (June 1, 2000)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0811826635
  • ISBN-13: 978-0811826631
  • Product Dimensions: 8 x 8.8 x 0.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.1 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (10 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,317,185 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From School Library Journal

Adult/High School-This look at automobiles of the past is filled with facts and color photographs of American car hood ornamentation, horn buttons, and emblems. Heavier on pictures than text, the book still achieves a balance as fine as the buffed chrome on the author's assorted artifacts. Steacy begins with an introduction about his initial and combined interest in brightworks, followed by a very readable, fact-filled history lesson about car design and insight into the how-to of collecting ornamentation. Factoids and period illustrations are integrated with the photographic spreads, making each page fun to browse. Car buffs, collectors, hobbyists, and those who have photography and graphic-design aspirations will be pleased with this visually fetching book.-Karen Sokol, Fairfax County Public Schools, VA

Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information, Inc.

About the Author

Ken Steacy is an avid brightwork collector and author/illustrator who resides in Victoria, British Columbia.

More About the Author

Discover books, learn about writers, read author blogs, and more.

Customer Reviews

4.4 out of 5 stars
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See all 10 customer reviews
The book contains outstanding photos and some history.
Michael P. Manning
Liked the book so much, I bought it as a gift for a "car guy" at work.
"robmcm4"
The few in the rough pieces look like they could tell a story.
Nick Porcino

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

2 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Robin Benson on January 22, 2002
Format: Paperback
Oh, wow!. Just incredible! Page after page of dazzling chrome car ornaments and Ken Steacy has 'em all. His collection has the best an exuberant Detroit could offer through the mid thirties to the late fifties.

Page 27 shows the famous pin-up artist George Petty working on a 1949 Nash ornament, possibly the only one in the world that had the artist's name stamped on it, page 41 has a 1935 Hupmobile hood rocket ship straight out of a Buck Rogers comic and pages 64-65 with four futuristic rocket designs for a fifties Oldsmobile.

Not only hood ornaments but horn buttons, emblems and my favourite section 'Scripts' with its Ultramatic, Futuramic, Dynaflow and Super DeLuxe, in bright chrome cursive-bold-italic typography.

All of the images just jump of the page thanks to the lovely photos taken by Rob d'Estrube and the layouts by Ken Steacy. I doubt there is a better book of Detroit's brightwork.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Ken Steacy’s book Brightwork is a delight for the eyes, and while it will certainly be an enjoyable book for those who love cars, almost anyone will be able to appreciate the images it contains.

The book is on the small side, dimensionally, but the pictures are nicely printed and the paper stock is high quality.

Brightwork begins with a brief introduction about the author, followed by a short history of automotive ornamentation. The book’s largest section is dedicated to hood ornaments - followed by smaller sections containing horn buttons, emblems, and script. Lastly, there is a fascinating chapter at the end that details how Mr. Steacy displays his collection and “restores” the pieces.

The ornamentation in the book is from all of the major manufacturers, along with some lesser-known ones. The images are stunning, and there is not much text besides the year and make of the vehicle the item came from. The beautiful pieces are left to speak for themselves.

All in all… a wonderful, and charming book for the automobile enthusiast.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
It was a great book for what I was looking for. It helped me identify some old car hood ornaments that I had photographed and couldn't find on-line. It is a very informative book with lots of information about a time when cars where more than transportation they were art. I got the book quickly and it's in great shape. I hope to use it frequently in my quest to photograph the art deco side of the 30s-50s American cars.
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By Michigan Reviewer on December 6, 2012
Format: Paperback
Fantastic photos in a well constructed book. Mr. Steacy has quite a collection of chrome doo dads from old American and Canadian autos. They are grouped together by category. The author also adds historical and social highlights shedding light on the styles of said parts and why they were designed and made the way they were. Lovers of older advertising and old autos will find this book interesting. The American/Canadian motoring experience has certainly changed over the years. One can see why so many people did develop such a love affair with their conveyances. Fun book. Easy read, too. Steacy includes a picture of his basement and his collection. I am envious.
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By R. Toledo on March 23, 2010
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
A must have for beginer collectors. I saw this book ages ago at Boarders and regret not getting it then. It's become a very sought after book and a collectors item too!
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