I found this on the garage wall, painted over and dark with 48 years of tarnish. Twenty minutes of scrubbing later (click for bigger/other pictures), we have:


After some Internet searching, I found details here:

To keep demand high, the electrical industry launched the Live Better Electrically, or LBE, campaign in March 1956. It was supported nationwide by 300 electric utilities and 180 electrical manufacturers.

The campaign got then-actor Ronald Reagan, the popular host of “General Electric Theater,” to take his television audience on a series of tours of his and wife Nancy’s all-electric Pacific Palisades home.

An in-house GE sales pitch declared that “by Thanksgiving, there should not be a man, woman or child in America who doesn’t know that you can ‘Live Better Electrically’ with General Electric appliances and television.”

In October 1957, LBE launched the “Medallion Homes” campaign, which sought to sell 20,000 all-electric homes nationwide by 1958, 100,000 by 1960 and 970,000 by 1970.

To earn a gold medallion–a decal affixed to a home’s entryway and considered the apex of modern, all-electric living–a home had to have an electric clothes washer and dryer, waste disposal, refrigerator and all-electric heating.

The Medallion Homes campaign was a huge success. By some estimates, the nationwide goal of about 1 million all-electric homes was achieved, according to the Edison Electric Institute, although data on the actual number built is unavailable.

Now that it’s cleaned up, I’ll put it back on the wall where it belongs. Obviously, this house was all-electric when it was built in 1957, but in the intervening years it was switched to gas for water and environmental heat. We went with an electric dryer.

Comments

3 Comments so far

  1. George Rayne on December 27, 2005 12:10 am

    Where could I buy one of the lighted house number brackets to replace the one I have. Any info would be helpful…..Gold Medalian…living better electrically. George

  2. Michelle on December 28, 2005 11:56 pm

    I just bought a 1958 house in OKC and as I was walking in the front door tonight, I noticed a “medal type” thing affixed to my entryway, but well painted over many times. I thought there might be some history to it, so I squinted to try to read it through the paint and got “medallion home” off of it. How wonderful to find this article to explain what it meant. It’s neat that my house was one of 20,000 at the time to receive this. Thanks for the information!

  3. DoYourFirstDeal.com » Blog Archive » Cool Real Estate History Lesson on September 13, 2006 4:07 pm

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