Wednesday, February 26, 2014

1916 Prefab Bungalows

From a showroom in Gustav Stickley's New York Craftsman Building and its Dover, Massachusetts factory and exhibit space, the E.F. Hodgson Company advertised its prefabricated cottage and bungalow homes, garages and poultry pens. Distributing its stock via second class freight trains, the company claimed that all of its products could easily be assembled by a couple of ' handy men' within two days, and just as easily disassembled for relocation. The homes arrived pre-painted, with French gray walls, ivory sashes and leaf green roofs and trimmings. Frames of Oregon pine and red cedar were secured to foundation posts of cedar, chestnut or locust with strap irons. As part of an international recovery effort, the National Red Cross Association of Washington, D.C. sent Hodgson portable homes to Italy via the naval supply ship Eva after the devastating 1908 Messina earthquake.

In 1912 New Orleans, D.H. Holmes sold portable houses developed by the R.L. Kenyon Company of Waukesha, Wisconsin. These were prefabricated with Washington fir frames, Georgia pine floors, burlap ceilings and partitions, steel chimneys and windows comprised of a dubious-sounding "fiberloid."(1)

(1)"How Would You Like to Live in a Portable House?" The Daily Picayune (30 April 1912): p. 10 [Advertisement].

Images above: Hodgson Portable Houses. Boston:  E.F. Hodgson Company, 1916. Architectural Trade Catalogs, Southeastern Architectural Archive, Special Collections Division, Tulane University Libraries.

No comments: