Sunday, December 19, 2010

Monsanto: Plastics History Mega Giant

Monsanto Plastics: It's no secret this company has been under scrutiny for decades, and may be viewed in history as a spectacle of concern with activist groups due to their decades long environmental issues.  Looking back in time, we cannot deny in the area of plastics history they were one of the top plastics manufacturers of the 1940s, making them a "plastics giant."  Unfortunately where there is plastics, there are chemicals, and that's another story.   At any rate, here are some snippets of things in regards to Monsanto's early days.

This Monsanto Plastics ad I found is unique because all of the little "M's" are actually color samples and I thought how cool it would be to find them now.  Where are they all?  Did any survive? I don't know when this ad was from, I bought it on Ebay years ago. Note the plastic "crystals" in rainbow colors.

Many "Monsanto" post cards exist where the company set up exhibits at Disneyland and talked about plastics being the wave of the future, or showed the wonders of plastics though setting up a "Hall of Chemistry." One could find out a lot by collecting post cards. 

Plastic mebel food tray advertising Monsanto's plastic cafeteria and plastic ware.  I find it odd because it's a plastic tray showing plastic ware, how ironic is that? This item  for sale (and photo by) Fun Vintage Living.
  Rare Wall Art by Monsanto - plastic letters courtesy of OldeTymeStore

This item is really strange.  I really didn't know what to think when I saw this.  Partially because I recognized it. I have a small 5"x7" section of this at my home.  Originally purchasing it thinking it was a wooden letterpress collage, I quickly found it to be some form of plastic resin.  I kept trying to identify it but never found another.  Look how happy I was to learn that my mini collage was part of something grand! It appears those crazy folks at Monsanto decided to cast resin letters and show the wonders of plastic in some type of mod art form, according to the seller circa 1976, this one still having the original paper tag, how rare is that?
Rare Wall Art by Monsanto - photo courtesy of OldeTymeStore

Possibly the best thing Monsanto ever did was House of the Future!  this special print or poster available from the above "original slide" at VintagePix on Zazzle HERE

The House of the Future (torn down yesteryear) was a "model" home built in 1957, as a Disneyland attraction.  This sexy mod pod the entire house was supposedly "made of thousands of pounds of plastic" to show the wonders of plastic and what homes may look like "in the future."  According to Christopher McPherson's website below, it also had other materials (which we don't care because it was so groovy anyways.)  I'm sorry to say it was torn down,  a true work of good design.  According to Yesterland, a groovy outdoor dome was across from it.
Postcards range from $8-$15, this one available at Antiques Plus Judy Posner for $12
Much like a bad Jaws sequel, (or the Rocky Balboa 6th in series movie) Disneyland and various investors spent $15 million dollars "making a new one"circa 2008 which they call "The Innoventions Dream Home".  This for whatever reason, just doesn't sit as well with me.  What's worse than wasting all that money, making a spacey new futuristic building trying to mimic a gorgeous vintage version that you ripped down years before with absolutely no appreciation for preserving good design?  You decide---you can view that information here.   

Original Monsanto House of the Future informational sites:

1) This great website, Plastic Living has a whole section of information intelligently researched by Christopher McPherson, dedicated to the House of The Future here.  

2) Original Wikipedia Monsanto House of the Future information HERE.

3) Journey into Yesterland to see the real deal House of the Future HERE!

While we're on the subject, here's a few Non-Monsanto Mod Homes Links you might like: 

a) Read something noteworty about Lumenhaus who has a real house of the future HERE..    

b) Too bad this Woody Allen house of the future sold for 1/10 of it's original price, I wish I lived in this thing, but then again, maybe not after Woody Allen was there.  ☺

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