Houses With Fur Overcoats

Small Home Gazette, Winter 2012

Houses With Fur Overcoats

The text below is from the March 1921 issue of Keith’s Magazine on Homebuilding, published in Minneapolis.

“One thing that must be impressed on the people of this country is that we should build real houses,” said Dr. John Allen, former director of the Heating Research Bureau, in an address before the Heating Engineers’ Society a few weeks before his death.

Aladdin House in Winter.“I was tremendously struck with that question in moving from Minneapolis down to Pittsburgh. In Pittsburgh, we have a mere ‘shed,’ at Minneapolis they build houses with plaster, studs, sheathing and insulating material and then cover it with paper and clapboards. Thus they have houses with fur overcoats on them and every window from attic to cellar is a double window.

“At Minneapolis I burned less coal for heating with the thermometer at 30 degrees below zero than in Michigan with the thermometer at zero. With high-priced coal, we should build houses to correspond. It costs very little to put on that insulating material, and its cost can be saved in a couple of years by reduction of coal bills. It pays to use the double windows.

“This society should stimulate the building of better houses, so that they will not have to put in such expensive heating plants, and it will not be necessary to burn so much fuel, which is a waste of fuel.”