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1957’s ‘House of the Future’—according to Monsanto and Disney
09.04.2015
02:16 pm
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Photo: Ralph Crane, LIFE Magazine
 
From 1957 to 1967, in Anaheim’s Disneyland, there existed the “House of the Future,” a creation of the plastics division of Monsanto, in order to demonstrate the wondrous uses to which plastic would be put in the decades to come. Today the house seems like a relic, a path not taken, much like Moshe Safdie’s Habitat 67 concept that was unveiled at the Montreal Expo in 1967.

Monsanto’s house was also called the “Plastic Mushroom,”  owing to its design, it seems, which required that four wings flare out from a concrete stump in the center. (As with The Jetsons or Star Wars, gee-whiz futurism apparently resides in buildings being perched on top of other things.)
 

 
The Monsanto domicile was featured in a November 11, 1957 story in LIFE about “New Shapes for Shelter” in which the following description appeared.

“Plastic Mushroom,” Monsanto Chemical Co.‘s experimental house, consists of only 20 molded pieces. Whole house rests on a 16-foot-square block of concrete. The four wings are cantilevered from utility core in center. Floors and ceilings are foot thick, of rigid urethane foam set between reinforced plastic panels. The 1,300-square-foot house has two bedrooms, living room, family room, kitchen and two baths. All fixtures, like bathtub and sinks, are molded plastic.

After the “House of the Future” was torn down in 1967, Disneyland visitors were deprived of the chance to tour it for themselves—until now! The Disney History Institute (not affiliated with Disney) recently posted a “Virtual 360° Flythrough” on YouTube that will allow you to take a tour of the premises. After you hit play, you have the option of grabbing the frame and swiveling your point of view around so you can see everything in the home. It’s best if you keep the point of view directed at the direction you’re moving, most of the time.
 

 
Continues after the jump…

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Posted by Martin Schneider
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09.04.2015
02:16 pm
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Bohn Aluminum and Brass Corporation’s futuristic machinery concept art
07.22.2014
02:34 pm
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“Here Comes the Flying Bus,” 1946
 
You might remember my post from a while back on Bohn Aluminum and Brass Corporation’s anti-communist propaganda. As ominous/absurd as capitalist agitprop from the bossman may seem, Bohn was actually building on a prior artistic legacy, albeit one of a much less reactionary vision for manufacturing.

The images you see below are all from Arthur Radebaugh, who produced tons of gorgeous art deco future-looking concept art for Bohn. The sleek designs and seamless use of the airbrush technique are as distinctive as they are dated, and by the mid-50s his commercial appeal had waned as photography replaced illustration in visual advertising. However Radebaugh’s visions found new life in the wildly popular Sunday newspaper comic “Closer Than We Think!” The comics lack the depth of Radebaugh’s ad work, but they allowed him to crank out idea after idea to a future-hungry 1950’s audience.
 

Lawnmower, 1945
 

Firetruck, 1945
 

Cruise ship, 1946
 

Heavy machinery, 1947
 

Covered bridge, 1946
 
More after the jump…

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Posted by Amber Frost
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07.22.2014
02:34 pm
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