Marion’s Thomas Edison had own knack for invention

“Thomas Edison Westall and his family are living in an aluminum alloy house built in his spare time. The mechanical engineer thinks it may be the house of tomorrow.

“The odd house sits in the shadow of the Blue Ridge mountains a few miles from Marion [N.C.]. It is air-conditioned. It is dust-proof. It has no corners — a boon to housekeepers, says Westall. The all-aluminum house of five rooms is just large enough for the Westall family of four. There is no wasted space. Inside the aluminum is coated with a sand-like paint, giving the walls and ceilings a look of plastered finish.

“Westall doesn’t know exactly what the house would cost to build…. ‘After all,’ he explains, ‘I designed the place and put it together whenever I could find the time.’”

— From the Central Press Association (September 7, 1951)

In addition to his contribution to midcentury housekeeping, Thomas Edison Westall (1914-1989) held patents on aeronautical devices and a Velcro-packaging machine.

Does anyone know the fate of Westall’s “house of tomorrow”?

 

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