Instant House

A blog tribute to the manufactured, mass-produced, modular and kit homes that grace the American landscape.

Monday, August 15, 2011

A Delightful Find

Front Cover
The Prefabricated House:  A Practical Guide for the Prospective Buyer (1947)
Periodically, I scour for old finds related to housing (and other interests).  I found a wonderful old book by three people that serves as a very enlightening "snapshot" into the post-World War II housing issue.  The authors--Graff, Matern, and Williams--provide a comprehensive overview of the housing situation after the war.  Pictures of the homes offered by Celotex, Peerless, Wingfoot, Gunnison, and many others are sprinkled throughout the book.  The authors make a distinction between the three types of houses (offered at the time):  prefabricated, speculative, and custom-built.  Interestingly, the authors assert that the major benefit to prefabrication at this point in time (1947) was TIME, not MONEY.  Gunnison and others were working on mass-production techniques, but none had yet perfected it.  Nevertheless, the housing shortage was so acute in the late 40s that TIME was a very important factor.  Bill Levitt's own words--"I can't put them up quick enough" reveals this.  Below are some grabs from the book--a very interesting read for anyone interested in this time period.

A Celotex home going up

A Celotex home (top) compared with a Gunnison home (bottom).

Eight Prefab Homes.  The book asserts that "none can be identified as a prefab from the street!"

Images of the Gunnison factory.  Notice the assembly-line setup.

The construction of a Tennessee Valley Authority home.

Three Gunnisons--"Panel" Homes

Rear Cover

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