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Moving Images

The five 8mm movies in this series were all shot by Jergenson. Two of the films are related to the General Motors Train of Tomorrow and show the train from concept to its test run. Two of the films document trips Jergenson took on behalf of Art Center to Paris, London, and Japan. Also included is a film highlighting the Catalina Project which shows Product Design students riding their watercraft at Catalina Island.


The seven scrapbooks in this series offer a comprehensive overview of Jergenson's life, especially his careers in industrial design and education. Compiled by Jergenson in the 1980s, they consist mostly of clippings, photographs, and correspondence with some handwritten exposition. Book 1 documents the early years in Jergenson's life, including his school days and beloved fishing trips. Book 2 are examples of advertisements he created while an art director at M. E. Harlan Advertising. Book 3 documents Jergenson's career at General Motors Styling, predominately during his first tenure there, 1936-1947. Book 4 contains publicity, mostly newspaper and magazine clippings, about the Train of Tomorrow and Art Center. Book 5 covers Jergenson's freelance career as well as a trip to Japan for Art Center. Book 6 contains items related to Jergenson's professional organizations, The Society of Art Center Alumni, an Art Center trip to Europe, and student projects. Book 7 is a unique photo album that includes family trees for Jergenson's ancestors and descendants, as well as in-laws.

Images of some items in these scrapbooks can also be found in the Photographs series, especially in the history of trains slide show.


The Photographs series consists of an array of images from throughout George Jergenson's life. Included here are family photographs and slides of his paintings, many of which are landscapes of the Sierra Nevada around his childhood home of Fresno. There are images from his years teaching at Art Center and a surface development slide show (80 slides). Of interest are photos of his design sketches for the Train of Tomorrow, as well as a slide presentation (137 slides) of the history of trains which includes images of the Train of Tomorrow. There are also slides of Eero Saarinen's iconic Styling Administration Building at the General Motors Technical Center.

Professional Organizations

This series contains materials related to several professional industrial design organizations including IDEA, IDI and IDSA. The materials include meeting minutes, correspondence, committee and membership rosters, reports, newsletters, and press releases. This series includes materials from the Society of Art Center Alumni such as articles of incorporation, correspondence about scholarships and contributions, and meeting minutes.

General Motors

This series consists of work Jergenson did while at General Motors Styling. The earlier files relate to his design work for the Train of Tomorrow. The later files showcase his expertise in surface development.

Freelance Work

This series contains materials related to George Jergenson's freelance work from 1944-1968 for American Motors Corporation (AMC), Outboard Marine Corporation, and Pan Am. Included are correspondence, contracts, billing ledgers, design evaluations, itemized invoices, market research reports, meeting notes, and technical drawings. The Pan Am files contain stress and weight analysis and patents for the sleeperette units Jergenson designed.

Educational Materials

This series contains course outlines, lecture notes, annotated bibliographies, speeches, and reports compiled by Jergenson while teaching at Art Center and in later years. A 1959 re-accreditation report from Art Center reviews curriculum, student services, demographics, school events, graduate professional memberships and a professional directory. Of interest is a list of detailed captions for a slide show about the history of trains.


This series consists of letters from Jergenson's employment at General Motors Styling and Art Center School, as head of Industrial Design. The Art Center period covers promotional campaigns, recruitment and employment opportunities at design firms, visits on and off campus, design collaboration, program development donations, fellowships, and scholarships. The GM period covers travel, training and recruitment, lectures, design development, and interoffice memos. Occasional course outlines, meeting minutes, and expense reports can be found. Of interest are embossed letterhead designs, circa 1930s-1970s.


This series contains various publications collected by George Jergenson. They range from clippings about Art Center, to car brochures, to his high school and college yearbooks. Of note is the typewritten manuscript by Stanley Brams about the styling staff at General Motors.


This series contains original paintings by Jergenson, as well as a few items from other artists. Also included is a list of titles, dates, and other details for slides of Jergenson's paintings.


This series contains personal materials including biographical notes with ancestral origins and lists of events written by George and Theda, including their transition to Detroit . General Motors bonus receipts, a handwritten ledger of earnings and taxes until 1974, and detailed accounts of his departure from Art Center are also present.

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