Film: 9773

Social History | 1950 | Sound | Colour


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A revolutionary new building method in the U.S.A. Styrofoam enables cheap insulation to be inserted in walls and floors 1950's

Typical open-topped American car parked outside house in the U.S.A. Man emerges. He looks at the sky. He wears a jacket and bow-tie. He jogs to his car, opens the door and gets in. It is a bright, sunny day, but he can hear thunder. He pushes a button and the convertible roof quickly is put up. His windows automatically wind up. Man and woman wearing transparent raincoats walk along sidewalk. Sidewalk is wet, though it is sunny. Man holds door open for woman in display of old fashioned manners after they have walked up steps to house. Water gushes out of bottom of rainwater down pipe. American family of father, mother older boy, younger girl relax in their living room. Good shot of them through the room's central fireplace. Boy and girl play with glove puppet, pan up to see rain lashing against window.
Man demonstrates a model of a single storey home. He lifts part of the roof off and shows home to four professional people who look on. How to keep damp out of a house is explained. The use of insulation for this. The material used in walls and under the floor is Styrofoam. We see a piece pulled out of a box. Styrofoam is derived from polystyrene. Cake decorations rotate around a central stand. Moving model Father Christmas and clown. Wedding cake decorations - bride and groom models. Man demonstrates lightness of styrofoam block by throwing it in the air and catching it. Styrofoam through a magnifying glass. Tests conducted on styrofoam in laboratory show it is a poor conductor of heat. Graph illustrates this. Man demonstrates water resistant qualities of block of styrofoam, by showing dye does not travel through the block. He cuts block after it has been coloured in dye. It is white inside, thus proving its suitability for use in water, as well as heat insulation! (Cataloguer's note - Is styrofoam the same as polystyrene? - if so remarkable that film discusses insulation properties - polystyrene is highly flammable). Man stands on block - it is strong! Laboratory tests its strength. Compression. A scale runs to a number 9. Company sign for 'Oscar Mayer & Co'. A cold storage company specialising in meat processing. Refrigeration trucks. American woman in a supermarket pushes a shopping trolley. She selects an item from an open fridge and places it in her trolley. Processed meats are selected. American high school with students walking about. Church with spire. A memorial hospital entrance. Public building flying American flag from a flag pole. Back of open topped lorry. Man unloads stack of Styrofoam boards and carries them off on his shoulder. Model is used to demonstrate laying styrofoam insulation. Pouring bucket of cement onto part of base of model. Laying insulation boards in real situation in the foundations. Concrete emptied out of concrete mixer lorry straight into foundations. Man shovels mix around. Fitting vertical boards. American building site. Embedded heating system. Man prepares to fit boards to completed house. He measures a board - it is one inch thick. Man empties bucket of brick mortar into frame which allows mortar to be spread evenly on the board. An incomplete outlet box with wires hanging out on a breeze block wall. Man makes impression on styrofoam board with the electrical outlet box. He uses a Stanley knife to cut styrofoam. Man saws plank of styrofoam. Man saws block sideways. Fitting a wooden block onto styrofoam above a window. Plastering styrofoam walls - plaster goes on very quickly. Use of cavity walls. Salesman turns model of house. American couple walk to their house.

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