Guide to the Lustron Corporation Collection 1949-2001 MG 1677


Descriptive Summary
Historical Note:
Scope and Content Note
Access Points
Administrative Information

Container List

Lustron Documents

Guide to the Lustron Corporation Collection
MG 1677

The New Jersey Historical Society
52 Park Place
Newark, New Jersey 07102
Contact: NJHS Library
(973) 596-8500 x249
© 2006 All rights reserved.
The New Jersey Historical Society, Publisher
Processed by Evan Panayi.

Finding aid encoded by Julia Telonidis. August 2006. Production of the EAD 2002 version of this finding aid was made possible by a grant from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation.Finding aid written in English.

Descriptive Summary

Creator: Lustron Corporation
Title: Lustron Corporation Collection
Dates 1949-2001
Abstract: This collection contains materials pertaining to the Lustron prefabricated home building company of the late 1940s.
Quantity: .03 linear feet (5 folders)
Collection Number: MG 1677

Historical Note:

At the end of World War II, America faced a severe housing shortage due to the large number of troops returning from Europe
and the Pacific. In response to this need, the government explored the idea of the mass production of prefabricated homes.
Of the various companies involved in the building of these homes, Columbus, Ohio-based Lustron Corporation manufactured homes
made of porcelain-enameled steel and became one of the most successful in the process. Lustron was unrivaled in scale and
became the standard for the factory made house. The creator of this inexpensive housing option was Carl Strandlund (1899-1974),
a Swedish-born American inventor and entrepreneur. Lustron’s success was shortlived, however, due to several factors including
company mismanagement and corruption, and the company went bankrupt in 1950.

Of the 2498 homes that Lustron produced between 1949 and 1950, there were supposedly 16 manufactured in New Jersey. There
are 2 known existing homes in Bergen County, the Harold Hess House in Closter and the Hiorth House in Alpine. In 2000 Preservation
New Jersey listed the remaining Lustron homes on its list of most endangered historic sites. Lustron homes in other states
have been listed on the National Register of Historic Places and some have been turned into house museums.

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Scope and Content Note

This collection contains materials about the homes manufactured by the Lustron Company and the efforts taken to preserve
these homes, as well as other sites in New Jersey. The majority of the documents in the collection are photocopies of original
documents. There is information concerning the origins of the Lustron Company as well as information about historic preservation.
This collection also contains a number of official documents from the National Register of Historic Places concerning various
Lustron houses and properties. There is also an Y2K edition of the “The Lustron Home” book which features copies of articles
about Lustron. This collection also contains an audiocassette of an interview with Lustron homeowner Harold Hess conducted
by Michele Boyd.

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Access Points

The entries below represent persons, organizations, topics, forms, and occupations documented in this collection.
Subject Organizations:
Lustron Corporation
Subject Topics:
Construction industry.
Dwellings–New Jersey
Historic buildings–New Jersey
Historic preservation–New Jersey
Prefabricated houses–New Jersey.
Subject Places:
Alpine (N.J.)
Bergen County (N.J.)
Closter (N.J.)
Document Types:
Letters (Correspondence)

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Administrative Information

Preferred Citation

This collection should be cited as: Manuscript Group 1677, Lustron Corporation Collection, The New Jersey Historical Society.

Acquisition Information

Donated by Michelle Boyd, 2004.

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“Lustron house.” Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia. 17 Jul 2006, Wikimedia Foundation, Inc. 21 Sep 2006. <h>

Preservation New Jersey. 21 Septmember 2006. <>

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Container List

Lustron Documents

Box Folder Title Date
1 1 Historic Preservation documents 2000-2001
1 2 National Register of Historic Places related documents (Continuation Sheets, Pictures, Forms) 1999-2000
1 3 Information about Lustron Company and construction of homes 1949-2001
1 4 “The Lustron Home special Y2K edition” binder of photocopied articles on Lustron houses 2000
1 5 Audiocassette of interview with Harold Hess (owner of Lustron home) of Closter, NJ, conducted by Michele Boyd (Two Sessions) 2000-2001

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