As long as there has been technology, people have wanted to make it beautiful as well as functional. This has been true for thousands of years. We want things that delight both halves of our brain.
Apple gets this and makes not only beautiful products but puts them in beautiful packaging as well. Apple draws some of its design cues from the past. Use Google Images to compare your iPod to a Braun T3 transistor radio from decades ago.
Daniel Rudge lived from 1840 to 1880, but his company continued producing bikes until about the 1940s. Rudge bicycles were known for quality and were described in the literature of the day as “beautifully made machines with many clever and unique features and ridden by King George V and family.”
The Rudge company logo is the human hand on the chain wheel, an example of which is shown here from a bicycle manufactured in 1928. This hand served no technical purpose and only a very, very slight business purpose. But it is delightful to the eye today and a century ago.