Friday, January 25, 2008

Monsanto House of the Future Brochure (1961)

The excellent Disney blog Stuff from the Park has scans of a 1960s brochure for the Monsanto House of the Future.

The piece explains that, "The erection of the Monsanto 'Plastics Home of the Future' at Disneyland in the summer of 1957 provided a practical demonstration of the almost limitless potential of plastics in structural applications." Much like the article on the future of glass we looked at last week, this piece centers around selling consumers goods which are positioned as "futuristic." Insert reference to The Graduate here.

Some of the "outstanding equipment of advanced design on display in the 'plastics home of the future'' are listed below:
"Atoms for Living Kitchen" featuring micro-wave cooking and ultra-sonic dishwashing.

Telephones with preset and push-button dialing, "hands-free" speakers and transmitters, and viewing screen to see the person who is calling.

Modular bathrooms with lavoratory, tub, walls and floor molded in units.

Foamed-in-place rigid urethane plastic foam for insulation and structural strength and flexible urethane foam for cushioning furniture and rugs.

Climate control center which filters, cools, heats and scents the air in each room independently.

Foam-backed plastic floor covering with controlled resiliency and noise-reducing properties.

"Acrillan" acrylic fiber and Chemsbrand nylon for upholstery, draperies and carpeting.

See also:
Monsanto House of the Future (1957-1967)
Monsanto House of the Future (1957)


Isabelle said...

Y'know, I don't know if this was specifically in Disneyland. I remember living in Orlando in around 1995, and outside of Disneyworld, on 192 I think near Kissimee, there was a very similar if not identical "house of the future." At the time, of course, it was decrepit and overgrown and no one was allowed in. I think it was torn down very soon afterwards.

Jonathan Badger said...

Isabelle, that was a Xanadu, another "house of the future". I'm originally from Wisconsin and there was another Xanadu there.

Unknown said...


Thanks for sharing this with us. The MHotF is a fascinating subject!

Janet said...

All I can think of is the off-gassing in a house like that. And I'm allergic to acrylic.

The cruciform design is not very efficient for heating and cooling either.

Anonymous said...

Interestingly prescient, from phrases ("hands free") to techical (spray-in foam insulation), and even to the unstated -- the home has a really open floor plan, definiately not common in houses of the 1950s.

Anonymous said...

Janet, the heating inefficiency could be fixed by tessellating them together.

Janet said...

True, but say goodbye to a view from the window.

I do find it interesting they were talking about microwave ovens a good two decades before they were widely marketed.

Anonymous said...

I was at Disneyland last weekend, coincidentally. Tomorrowland was not as tomorrowy as it used to be. Pretty much the same attractions as in the 70s, though some had been updated a little. I didn't see a darn thing that would make me want to put on a shiny suit and wait on my curb for the spacebus to pick me up and take me into orbit... where I would go to work each morning.

Jack Generic said...

I actually really like the floor plan.

Anonymous said...

Why is it that futurists of the 1950s and 1960s believed that the "man of the future" wouldn't need *privacy*? That house has no doors, not even on the bathrooms!