Tuesday, October 25, 2011

$50 House 1945

I was recently at the Midwestern Region Friends of Dard Hunter Conference at the Paper Discovery Center in Appleton, Wisconsin. The Discovery Center's permanent exhibition references a paper house designed for emergency shelter (fires, flooding, or other disasters) by the Institute of Paper Chemistry. With the exception of plastic windows and metal hardware, the house (shown above) was built entirely of recycled paper products.

The structure was erected in less than one hour by two men, using chipboard that was made from waste paper (newspapers, etcetera). A fortifying agent strengthened the chipboard against water and humidity, and the house was coated with a fireproof paint. The 8 x 16' structure was intended to safely house a family of four.

Paper houses were not completely new. In 1924, a Massachusetts mechanical engineer named Elis F. Senman designed a timber-framed paper house and its furnishings. It remains a popular tourist attraction. Read more here.

Read more: "Paper House Costs $50." Popular Science (March 1945): p. 85 available from Free E-Journals. [Image above from article]

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