Saturday, August 11, 2018

Rare LIFE Magazine 1957 Pictures of Disneyland House of the Future

Here is a series of rare LIFE Magazine pictures shot by LIFE photographer Ralph Crane in 1957, showing the interior of the House of the Future at Disneyland Anaheim. The experimental house was made with 20 moulded pieces and built on a 16 square foot block of concrete. The house was 1300 square feet and everything was molded plastic.

Sponsored by Monsanto, the House of the Future was made possible by Monsanto, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and Walt Disney Imagineering. With this project, Monsanto wanted to demonstrate plastics' versatility as a high-quality, engineered material. The house, featuring four symmetric wings cantilevered off a central core, was fabricated with glass-reinforced plastics.

The attraction offered a tour of a home of the future, featuring household appliances such as microwave ovens, which eventually became commonplace. The house saw over 435,000 visitors within the first six weeks of opening, and ultimately saw over 20 million visitors before being closed.

The house closed in 1967. The building was so sturdy that when demolition crews failed to demolish the house using wrecking balls, torches, chainsaws and jackhammers, the building was ultimately demolished using choker chains to crush it into smaller parts. The plastic structure was so strong that the half-inch steel bolts used to mount it to its foundation broke before the structure itself did. The reinforced concrete foundation was never removed, and remains in its original location, now the Pixie Hollow, where it has been painted green and is used as a planter.

Pictures: copyright LIFE Magazine

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