After some research, we found an article from Time Magazine (January, 1959) which polled the top 100 designers, architects, and design department heads of manufacturing firms and universities from around the world and had them compile a list of their "100 best-designed products of modern times".
Here's a look at what eventually made their top-ten:
Olivetti Lettera 22 typewriter, designed by Marcello Nizzoli in 1948
Charles Eames' plywood and steel side chair, designed in 1944
Ludwig Mies van de Rohe's 1929 Barcelona Chair
Studebaker's 1953 hard-top coupe, designed by Raymond Loewy
The Parker "51" fountain pen, designed by Marlin Baker and Kenneth Parker, 1932
Lincoln Continental (1939-1941), designed by Edsel Ford and staff
Edison Voicewriter - VP model, designed by Carl Otto in 1950
Frigidaire's "Sheer Look" 1957 appliances, designed by Leroy Keifer and GM staff
Hallicrafters radio, designed by Raymond Loewy in 1946
Bell Systems 500 telephone, designed by Henry Dreyfuss in 1951
I think it's time again for another poll like this. I'd love to take a visual look at what the top 100 designers of today consider to be the best designs of our time. I have an idea that some of the icons above would make the "top-ten" list once again.