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Overland Park, Kansas

1950s All-Electric House

This retro-future model home is packed to the gills with electrical oddities. 

This home of the future from the past features aqua tiles in the bathroom, pink counters in the kitchen, and green paint on several walls. The bells and whistles are manyit seems anywhere an electrical feature or modern convenience could be slotted in, it was. 

At the touch of a button, a painting on the wall slides back to reveal a TV. The curtains are electric. The fridge opens via foot pedal. A switch starts the coffee pot. Some of the home’s features, like the automatic garage door, seem less dated, but were the height of in-home tech at the time. 

In 1954, Kansas City Power & Light created this ranch-style house as a model home. It was gussied up with all of the latest and greatest technological advancements, which now amuse and delight the nostalgic visitors passing through.

The very definition of the post-WWII suburban dream, the All-Electric House operated as a model home in Prairie Village (a suburb of Kansas City) throughout 1954. During that time, it saw more than 62,000 visitorswhich is more people than lived in all of Johnson County. Eventually, the home was purchased. It was a single-family home for more than 40 years before being converted into a museum. The home is famous for its decorations during the holiday season when it is tinseled up in period style, including an aluminum Christmas tree and classic 1950s gifts.

In 2017, the museum moved from its former location in Shawnee to a new display center. The entire home was loaded onto the back of a truck and driven the 9 miles down the road to the Johnson County Heritage Center. The All-Electric House’s reopening in June will give even more people the opportunity to walk through the front door and down memory lane. 

Contributed by
hana
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