HOUSING: Plywood Palace

His interest in prefabricated housing began at the age of nine, when his uncle, Jean Valjean Willis, was caught in a prefab privy and washed down Louisiana's Teche River. Forty-four years later, in 1942, Jacques Whiffle Willis was ready to turn his interest to account. His idea: a 1½-story, 6-room prefab house complete with plumbing, for $3,500. It took him four more years to work the bugs out of his plan. By last week he thought he had. From his Home-Ola Corp. plants in Chicago ten complete plywood houses were being shipped...

Want the full story?

Subscribe Now


Learn more about the benefits of being a TIME subscriber

If you are already a subscriber sign up — registration is free!