Tuesday, May 5, 2015

Living in the Monsanto House of the Future



By Keith Mahne



The Monsanto House of the Future, or simply the Home of the Future, was an attraction at Disneyland from 1957 to 1967. It was sponsored by the Monsanto Company. The design and engineering of the house was done jointly by Monsanto, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and Walt Disney Imagineering. The Monsanto House of the Future has always stimulated my excitement. I thoroughly enjoy the sense of nostalgia I get whenever I see pictures of this amazing model home and so today we are going to do the exact same thing for you! Continue after the page break for a wonderful, in-depth look into the Monsanto House of the Future...








The House of the Future was just one of a number of fairground houses of the future that never made it off the grounds and into the marketplace. Designed by MIT, it opened in 1957.


















The fiberglass components of the house were manufactured by Winner Manufacturing Company in Trenton, New Jersey, and were assembled into the house on-site. The attraction offered a tour of a home of the future, set in the year 1986, and featured household appliances such as microwave ovens, which did eventually became commonplace.















Visitors were treated to a glimpse of carefree futuristic living inside a plastic-walled floating cruciform structure with picture phones, height-adjustable sinks, dishes washed by ultrasonic waves, and atomic food preservation. "It was the permanence, the durability of plastic that made the Monsanto house a marvel," writes Bernard Cooper in his book Maps to Anywhere. "The wings, it was said, would never sag. The plastic floor would never buckle, chip, or crack." At the time, 30 percent of Monsanto's business was in plastics, synthetic resins, and surface coatings.


















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 survived the introduction of New Tomorrowland in 1967, but closed shortly after, as Monsanto's attention shifted to their new sponsored attraction, Adventure Thru Inner Space. 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 by using choker chains to crush it into smaller parts. The reinforced polyester 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 of the House of the Future was never removed. It currently exists in its original location, now found in the Pixie Hollow attraction. The foundation has been painted green and is currently in use as a planter.







Here now is a wonderful little video featuring footage of the Monsanto House of the Future that I think you're really going to enjoy (Please be sure to pause the Disney Avenue Music Player at the top left-hand corner of this page before you start the video if you are on a desktop computer):









 





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Keith Michael Mahne is the owner and editor of Disney Avenue and the host of the Disney Avenue Podcast. He has made countless trips to the Walt Disney World resort since his first trip in 1989 at the age of four.



Keith has a strong passion and respect for Walt Disney, the parks and resorts, and the men and women who help create them. He started Disney Avenue as a way to inform and entertain readers and to repay all those who make dreams come true every day.
 
You can find all of Keith's articles here.
 
 
 




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