Periodically, I scour abebooks.com 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|