Lustron: A House that Inspires Devotion … and T-Shirts

The creative folks behind 1803 Designs have created a fun new t-shirt inspired by the Lustron house.

What is a Lustron house?

They were prefabricated, single family homes constructed of porcelain steel in Columbus, Ohio between 1947 and 1950. Prefabricated buildings are built in the factory and assembled on site. Lustron was one of multiple companies experimenting with prefabricated home designs and non-traditional building materials to meet the high demand for residential housing after World War II. Over 2,000 homes were manufactured before Lustron closed its doors.

Lustron Delivery Truck

Around 1,000 square feet, Lustron houses are small by today’s standards, but have some unique features. Because the walls are metal, the only thing needed to hang pictures are magnets. The exterior does not need to be painted, but simply hosed down. Lustron enthusiasts have worked to document and preserve the houses across the country. Concerns about energy conservation are sparking new interest in smaller homes. Perhaps we will see a resurgence of these ‘pre-fabulous’ dwellings.

A woman relaxes at an umbrella table in the yard behind a Lustron house.

If you are interested in learning more, a variety of company records and photographs for Lustron, including vintage advertisements, are available to researchers in the Ohio Historical Society Research Room: MSS 861 AV Lustron Corporation Records Go to finding aid MSS 926 AV Neil Collins Papers Go to finding aid MSS 1288 AV Lustron Homes Research Collection OVS 3906 Advertisement for Lustron Home PA Box 822 11 Lustron Home: A New Standard of Living SC 4663 Lustron Corporation Buildings VFM 4107 AV Lustron Corporation Scrapbook VOL 1194 Lustron Book of Home Plans

L. Wood Curator for Visual Resources

Posted May 13, 2011
Topics: All Topics

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