In 1994, buried in a forgotten box in the Ohio State Historical Society, film producers, Bill Kubota, Ed Moore and Bill Ferehawk discovered a trail of newspaper clippings, Senate hearing transcripts and internal Lustron Corporation documents which suggested that the collapse of what was being called in 1950 the “General Motors of housing” was brought on not by simple market forces but by a government conspiracy that reached all the way to the Truman White House.
for the first time, this crucial juncture in history is explored.
The one-hour documentary, Lustron – The House America’s Been
Waiting For, tells the story of Chicago inventor Carl Strandlund and
his crusade to revolutionize homebuilding by mass-producing steel
houses—100 each day—on an assembly line.
Leading architects like Frank Lloyd Wright and Buckminster Fuller threw themselves at the problem The answer: prefabricated housing—a new industry that would provide a better standard of living to all American families.
Every effort failed but one. It took an industrial genius from Chicago, a gambler obsessed with the odds, to pull it off. Charming and relentlessly enthusiastic Strandlund won over congressmen, bureaucrats and even President Truman. He negotiated landmark labor agreements with national trade unions that saw housing as America’s great new industry. Armed with 37 million tax dollars, Carl Strandlund risked everything he had to mass-produce the American Dream—a dream made of porcelain-enameled steel called the Lustron home.
“For many groups, the idea of mass-producing the world’s biggest commodity—a house—was an extremely tempting and provocative idea,” claims producer and architect, Bill Ferehawk. “Lustron could have been the silver bullet that solved social problems by providing quality affordable houses for the common man.”
(in the works)
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