Tournelayer -- A house in 24 hours

I’m reading a book of photographs of the early days of Edwards Air Force Base, and there’s a picture of a machine called a Tournelayer. From the text, if you don’t want to click on the link:

Video of the machine in action.

Here’s an article I’ve just found (but haven’t read yet) that gives more detail.

I like the heated floors, as shown in the vid.

I’d never head of that before. Apparently he (or his machines) built these things all over the world. There are references from China, and this site has pictures of several projects, as well as interior shots of the homes. Interesting.

My link does say China, but the video says Texas.

This large .pdf file has more interesting pictures, including a couple of floor plans.

I’ve mentioned that I was an extra in The Right Stuff. One day we were in an older residential area of the base (where Royal Dano comes to a door, and the new widow knows why) and we spent time in a couple houses there. They were of cinder block construction. The ‘Tourneulayer’ machine seems much faster, but no doubt the machine itself added to the cost. I’ve always liked the ‘low rent’ aspect of cinder block houses, and the LeTourneau machine houses are even cooler in that way. I can imagine myself living in one, at least on a TDY basis.

I’ve never seen that machine. I interviewed for a job at (what is now) Marathon-LeTorneau in Longview 10-15 years ago and the interviewer told me about the buildings and machine. There are (or were) several of the houses that could be seen along Highway 59 (Somewhere south of Atlanta, TX, as I recall). I am not sure they are still there now. There was a big project widening 59 to a 4-lane divided highway and they may have been demolished at that time. They had been abandoned for years (decades?) the last time I saw them.

Anyway, the Marathon-LeTourneau facility built large, off-road equipment and I was told that Mr. LeTourneau envisioned entire cities of his concrete houses.

Thanks for the pictures. I had always wondered what the machine that built them looked like.

excavating (for a mind)