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Friday
Jan252008

Monsanto House of the Future Brochure (1961)


The excellent Disney blog Stuff from the Park has scans of a 1960s brochure for the Monsanto House of the Future.

The piece explains that, "The erection of the Monsanto 'Plastics Home of the Future' at Disneyland in the summer of 1957 provided a practical demonstration of the almost limitless potential of plastics in structural applications." Much like the article on the future of glass we looked at last week, this piece centers around selling consumers goods which are positioned as "futuristic." Insert reference to The Graduate here.

Some of the "outstanding equipment of advanced design on display in the 'plastics home of the future'' are listed below:

"Atoms for Living Kitchen" featuring micro-wave cooking and ultra-sonic dishwashing.

 

Telephones with preset and push-button dialing, "hands-free" speakers and transmitters, and viewing screen to see the person who is calling.

Modular bathrooms with lavoratory, tub, walls and floor molded in units.

Foamed-in-place rigid urethane plastic foam for insulation and structural strength and flexible urethane foam for cushioning furniture and rugs.

Climate control center which filters, cools, heats and scents the air in each room independently.

Foam-backed plastic floor covering with controlled resiliency and noise-reducing properties.

"Acrillan" acrylic fiber and Chemsbrand nylon for upholstery, draperies and carpeting.


See also:
Monsanto House of the Future (1957-1967)
Monsanto House of the Future (1957)

 

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Reader Comments (13)

Y'know, I don't know if this was specifically in Disneyland. I remember living in Orlando in around 1995, and outside of Disneyworld, on 192 I think near Kissimee, there was a very similar if not identical "house of the future." At the time, of course, it was decrepit and overgrown and no one was allowed in. I think it was torn down very soon afterwards.

January 25, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterIsabelle

Isabelle, that was a Xanadu, another "house of the future". I'm originally from Wisconsin and there was another Xanadu there.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Xanadu_House

January 25, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterJonathan Badger

Matt,

Thanks for sharing this with us. The MHotF is a fascinating subject!

January 25, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterBiblioadonis aka George

All I can think of is the off-gassing in a house like that. And I'm allergic to acrylic.

The cruciform design is not very efficient for heating and cooling either.

January 25, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterJanet

Interestingly prescient, from phrases ("hands free") to techical (spray-in foam insulation), and even to the unstated -- the home has a really open floor plan, definiately not common in houses of the 1950s.

January 26, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterWutzke

Janet, the heating inefficiency could be fixed by tessellating them together.

January 26, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterPhilip L. Welch

True, but say goodbye to a view from the window.

I do find it interesting they were talking about microwave ovens a good two decades before they were widely marketed.

January 26, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterJanet

I was at Disneyland last weekend, coincidentally. Tomorrowland was not as tomorrowy as it used to be. Pretty much the same attractions as in the 70s, though some had been updated a little. I didn't see a darn thing that would make me want to put on a shiny suit and wait on my curb for the spacebus to pick me up and take me into orbit... where I would go to work each morning.

January 26, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterBonnach

I actually really like the floor plan.

January 29, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterJack Generic

Why is it that futurists of the 1950s and 1960s believed that the "man of the future" wouldn't need *privacy*? That house has no doors, not even on the bathrooms!

February 25, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterGreg

In 19567, this WAS very futuristic. There was no out-gassing at all. The doors were NOT put in place, so that the millions of people that walked through that house could do so in an orderly manner.

I remember vividly seeing it the one time I went to Disneyland as a kid. I always wanted a house like that (and I still wouldn't mind having one). Each room was heated and cooled independently, and it would have been very liveable. It was about the same size as the average home of that era.

So many of you make the mistake of trying to look at the past, through todays eyes.

July 31, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterBill

It is a cool design, love the cross shaped house, it is a very original design.


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March 22, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterClive

I only learnt about this extraordinary project after purchasing a 1962 copy of the Daily Mail Book of House Plans ( on ebay ).

I was born on 27th June 1957 ( 2 weeks after the opening )!

In early 1958 Monsanto opened a new plant in Coleraine, Northern Ireland, where I grew up ( it employed 800 people ) - my father worked in the Plant from the day it opened till the day it closed in 1983. Today few people remember it.

We had Acrilan carpets throughout our house ( and they never wore out ) - why can't I buy them anymore?

I became an Architect in 1983 ( and run my own small practice in Derry, N. Ireland )

So I can't believe that I've only learnt about the House of the future - it must have been truly amazing to witness.

Paul McGarvey RIBA

September 12, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterPaul McGarvey RIBA

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