|Lustron homes, a novel home for a unique time in history|
But then American ingenuity kicked in. The Greatest Generation had struggled through the Depression and then WW2. What they needed would be created and now.
Lustron Corporation, a division of Chicago Vitreous Enamel Corporation, was founded in 1947 and began to construct 15,000 homes in that year and then 30,000 (according to this info above) in 1948. The houses cost between $8,500 and $9,500
These houses were unique, to say the least: all steel.
The houses are made of steel, top to bottom. Cabinets, closets, kitchens, doors, walls, door jams, support beams---everything is steel. (Notice the built-ins throughout the house in the YouTube video below.) Houses were pre-fabricated and assembled on site, in two weeks. Steel slates are on the roof. Enameled steel square panels cover the exterior. No repainting, roof repair, termite damage are in these houses.
4 minute video
Only about 2,500 or so homes remain, some on the Registry of Historical Houses.
What amazes me is that my hometown of 3,000 has seven or more of these houses in Illinois. They are all occupied and enjoyed by people whose names I know. Five of the seven are shown below.
|Newspaper article from hometown newspaper|
|Newspaper article from hometown paper|
And these are the houses in my hometown:
|North of the town in a more rural area|
|This house was occupied by State Congressman Paul Findlay in the 1960s|
|Note the square panels, made of enameled steel. Most houses have replaced porches, since they are of wood which decays.|
|On North Franklin St.|
|The Johnson family lives here.|
These homes have lasted for nearly 70 years.
Pretty amazing. A need arises and then some creative individuals come up with a solution, American ingenuity at its best in an incredible time.
P.S. The largest number of homes are in Ohio (a plant that built the Lustrons), and Illinois.