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Powering the Dream by Alexis Madrigal

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chapter 12
The Solar Home of the 1950s
WORLD WAR II was a time of deprivation in the United States. Coffee was rationed. Nylon was rationed. Fuel was rationed. The country made do, prodded by advertisements in Life and Time magazines, which promised an even more abundant nation as soon as the war ended. When it did, troops and war laborers began flooding home. For that first couple of years, with the memory of rationing fresh in their minds, a house that didn’t need as much heating oil or gas seemed like a great investment to some Americans. They had seen the world’s fuel supply chains torn apart, severed far more quickly than they had been built. The fragility of the world had been put on display. If the house was a machine for living in which ...

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