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Lustron: The House America's Been Waiting For (2004)

The rise and fall of engineering visionary Carl Strandlund and his post-World-War-II brainchild, the Lustron porcelain-enameled-steel manufactured house.
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Credited cast:
Doug Knerr Doug Knerr ... Self (historian)
Carl Strandlund Carl Strandlund ... Self (archive footage)
Kristin Szylvian Kristin Szylvian ... Self (historian)
Wilson W. Wyatt Wilson W. Wyatt ... Self (U.S. Housing Expediter)


Just after World War II, America faced the worst housing shortage in its history, as millions of GIs returned to civilian life. President Truman appointed a national Housing Expediter to solve the crisis. The government's plan was to foster a new industry: prefabricated or manufactured (factory-built) housing. A celebrated engineer and inventor named Carl Strandlund then came to Washington with a bold proposal: he would construct houses out of the same type of porcelain-enameled-steel panels he used to build gasoline stations and White Castle restaurants. His Lustron ranch-style house was rot-proof, vermin-proof, never needed painting, had about 1000 square feet of floor space, cost much less than 10,000 dollars, and could be erected on-site in less than a week. The federal Reconstruction Finance Corporation loaned Strandlund millions of dollars to convert an old aircraft factory in Columbus, Ohio to Lustron production. But political machinations, financial difficulties, government ... Written by yortsnave

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Finally, the REAL story about yesterday's house of tomorrow...
11 January 2003 | by lustron1See all my reviews

This film shows the real story of why the LUSTRON HOME, one of America's greatest achievements in architectural history was shut down in it's prime. There are some accounts about this prefab home that are totally false...one being that the Lustron Home shut down the TUCKER Auto plant. This is not so.

The film makers love for their topic shines through with interviews of people associated with the Lustron corporation and with recent owners of these wonderful, post WWII, all-metal, porcelain enamel on steel prefabricated homes.

When my wife and I moved into our Lustron, we both had no knowledge of them. I went to the Library and poured through old magazines and hardly found any information on these homes, except some advertisements in LIFE magazines. The Internet was also a barren wasteland for any info on this architectural wonder.

In the last few years, there have been a couple of books written about this home and this is the best documentary on the subject. We had met with Bill Kobuta & Ed Moore when the were working on this documentary and were amazed at the knowledge and information they had on this subject.

This is the story that everyone should know... but so few do. Our hats are off to all involved!!

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18 February 2004 (USA) See more »

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