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Lustron, The Home America's Been Waiting For Tour the Lustron Plant
Men in and in front of the Lustron plant
Aireal view of the Lustron plant
Aerial view of the Lustron plant
Lustron delivery trucks roll through plant
Trucks moving through the packaging and shipping department

Securing a total of $32.5 million in loans from the federal government and crafting a full-scale, one-million-square-foot production plant on 106 acres of land in Columbus, Ohio, Carl Strandlund and the Lustron Corporation began manufacturing in 1947 pre-fabricated, porcelain-enameled steel houses using assembly line methods similar to those of the automobile industry. The Lustron plant had become a showcase for manufacturing technology, ready to mass-produce 100 houses per day, and using more electricity during its peak production than the entire city of Columbus. By the summer of 1949, the air on the east side of Columbus was charged. Each week, fifteen hundred people toured the largest ceramics facility in the world. Nine miles of conveyors coursed past some of the first automatic welders, through enameling furnaces large enough to accommodate airliner wings, and alongside a giant press that could stamp out an entire bathtub in one fell swoop.

Innovative trailers became rolling platforms that moved along the assembly line on the plant floor, finally carrying the 30,000 pieces to dealers all over the East, Midwest, and South. At the Quantico Marine Base in Virginia, 60 Lustrons were springing up at the rate of one every four days. Strandlund and his Lustron home were on the verge of another industrial revolution. "Everyone was convinced that his operation could not fail," remarked James Barton, former Lustron advertising executive. "The idea that this was going to be the General Motors of the housing industry was prevalent throughout the whole company."

Despite receiving more than 20,000 orders, Lustron was able to manufacture only 2,498 houses before the company declared bankruptcy in 1950. The plant closed in 1951.


Layout of the material flow pattern in the Columbus Lustron factory
Click over white areas to see photos of that area of the plant.

floorplan of the Lustron plant

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various ads for Lustron Homes
Lustron The House America's Been Waiting For  
View Packaging and Shippng Dept. photo View Finish and Fabricating photo View Enameling Dept photo View Sub-assembly Dept. photo View Mill Room photo View Press Dept photo View Offices photo View Vitreous Enameling Plants photo View Experimental area photo