Where am I living?

July 7, 2014


The June 1952 issue of Popular Mechanics asks the question, “In what kind of house will the captain of a space ship live during his stopovers on earth?” Robert Heinlein, whose Starship Troopers and Stranger in a Strange Land were still in the future, gives a tour of “a house that’s called extreme today but may become conventional before the 20th century has run its course.”

Heinlein described his house as being efficient and easy to clean.  Here are a few photos that show some labor saving features:


The commuting table can be set in the kitchen and then rolled into the dining room for meals.


The house had two bedrooms, but all of the sofas pulled out and with pads, could be made into beds.


A hatchway in the kitchen gives access to the trash containers – without ever leaving the room.  Actually I have friends who built a similar feature into their kitchen remodel. I’m not sure what is going on in the right hand photo.

heinlein blueprintThis is a floor plan for the house.

Robert Heinlein, one of the American Masters of Science Fiction, was born today in 1907.  Happy Birthday.

The full story of the house that appeared in Popular Mechanics can be found by clicking this link.


Other posts on unusual houses:

Quonset Huts

Dymaxion House



  1. Since he was living in snow country, I can see why he wrote about a door into summer. I thought it was an interesting house on the small scale back when such was actually, a mid-sized home. A table that went back and forth through the wall is an interesting idea. It lets people eat in company, shove aside the mess for later, and remain in the conversation area.
    The record player reminded me of ours back in the day. One could put up to 5 records on the spindle and as one finished, the next would drop down and start automatically. As the phonograph got older though, sometimes all five would drop at the same time. This confounded the arm bearing the needle.

    • I liked the table, too – and all the cubbies around the house.

  2. I’m not sure what is going on in the right hand photo.

    I’m thinking that’s The Mother of ALL Serious Home Stereos. I knew folks who had set-ups like this back in the days of vacuum tubes and pterodactyls.

    • Quite the media set-up! Pterodactyls 🙂

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: