1. “The Factory -Built House Is Here, but Not the Answer to the $33 Million Question: How to Get It to Market?” Architectural Forum, May 1949, 107-114.
Includes background on the business side of the Lustron operation: network of dealers, agreement with labor unions, market strategy, etc. Flowchart of manufacturing process is juxtaposed on aerial photograph of the factory.
2. Fetters, Thomas T. The Lustron Home: The History of a Postwar Prefabricated Housing Experiment. Jefferson, N.C., and London: McFarland and Company, 2002.
One of the definitive histories of the Lustron Corporation. Entertaining and informative. Very well illustrated with historic photographs, floor plans, and copies of company fact sheets and other documents. Contains 186 pages, including bibliography.
3. “The Industrialized House: Lustron Develops an Enameled Steel House.” Architectural Forum 86 (June 1947): 105-110.
Published during the glory days of Lustron. Has good photographs of how Lustrons were manufactured and erected, plus a number of shots of the completed interior. Also has sketches with building components labeled and a detailed, illustrated explanation of the heating system.
4. Jester, Thomas C. “Porcelain Enamel: Steel in ‘Glass Clothing.’” In Preserving the Recent Past, edited by Deborah Slaton and Rebecca A. Shiffer, IV-99 - IV-106. Washington, D.C.: Historic Preservation Education Foundation, 1995.
Helpful technical information about the manufacture of porcelain enamel panels, preservation issues, and repair techniques.
5. Jester, Thomas C. “Porcelain Enamel.” In Twentieth Century Building Materials: History and Conservation, edited by Thomas C. Jester, 254-261. New York: McGraw-Hill, 1995.
Very useful technical information from an architectural historian who worked for the National Park Service.
6. Jandl, H. Ward “Lustron: The All-Metal Dream House.” In Yesterday’s Houses of Tomorrow: Innovative American Homes, 1850 to 1950, 182-199. Washington, D.C.: Preservation Press, 1991.
An excellent historical overview of the rise and fall of the Lustron Corporation; well illustrated.
7. Knerr, Douglas. Suburban Steel: The Magnificent Failure of the Lustron Corporation, 1945-1951. Columbus: Ohio State University Press, 2004.
Another definitive history of the Lustron Corporation. Contains 248 pages, with few illustrations. A useful reference with good documentation (endnotes) and detailed index.
8. Lustron: The House America’s Been Waiting For. DVD. Directed by Ed Moore, Bill Kubota, and Bill Ferehawk. Madison Heights, Mich.: KDN Videoworks, 2002.
An excellent overview of the rise and fall of the Lustron Corporation, originally produced as a 60-minute television feature by KDN Videoworks, WOSU-TV, and Ohio State University. A very engaging documentary. If you live in a Lustron Cluster order a copy, call your steely neighbors, pop some popcorn and enjoy!
9. Lustron Corporation. Camera Tour through the Lustron Home. Columbus, Ohio: published by the company, September 1949.
Classic marketing brochure for “America’s FAMILY Home.” Photographs illustrating the rooms of the house have detailed captions. Summary of features and floor plans of one- and two-bedroom models are on back page.
10. “Things You Want to Know! About the Lustron House”
Another classic marketing brochure. Download a copy in the PDF file cabinet. might be good instead of or in addition to Camera Tour.
11. “A Heap of Cheerful Living in this New Idea of Home”
Lustron did dozens of great ads, check out the PDF file cabinet for more of our favorites.
12. Garage and Breezeway Variations with Lustron Homes. Columbus, Ohio: published by the company, circa 1949.
Ideas developed by the Lustron Corporation in about 1949 could provide direction for homeowners today who want make alterations and additions that are sensitive to the original design. Illustrations also suggest direction for landscaping.
13. The Lustron Planning Guide. Columbus, Ohio: published by the company, circa 1949.
Written for Lustron dealers. Contains detailed information on landscaping that is invaluable for homeowners today wanting to create a setting appropriate to the Lustron period. Includes much additional information of historical interest.
14. Mitchell, Robert A. “What Ever Happened to Lustron Homes?” APT Bulletin 23 (1991): 44-63.
Written by a North Dakota architect with experience in restoring Lustrons. Describes “Lustron house characteristics” and offers handy tips and insights for preservation.
15. “People May Live in Steel Houses.” Nation’s Business, December 1932, 38, 40-41.
An interesting snapshot of the state-of-the-art in steel housing as of 1932.
16. Snyder, Tim. “Lustron: A Prefabricated Ranch House of Porcelainized Steel.” Fine Home Building 22 (August-September 1984): 27-30.
Good overview of construction and structural details, including an isometric of the frame and floor plan and a diagram of how the plenum works. Ends with a brief discussion of the fate of some houses “thirty-five years later.”
17. Wolfe, Tom, and Leonard Garfield. “‘A New Standard for Living’: The Lustron House, 1946-1950.” In Perspectives in Vernacular Architecture, III, edited by Thomas Carter and Bernard L. Herman, 51-61. Columbia: University of Missouri Press, 1989.
Provides background on nineteenth- and early twentieth-century attempts to produce metal houses and the post-war housing shortage. Includes basic history of the Lustron Corporation.