Sixty-plus years ago, Joe Eichler's all-steel X-100 ‘house of the future’ was more than real estate. It was big news. In October 1956, one of the nation’s leading newsreels, Universal-International News, featured a whirlwind 55-second tour through the house in San Mateo Highlands in its short (six-and-a-half minutes in all) newsreel, which was shown between feature films at movie theaters across the country.
The X-100 wasn't the top story. After all, the week of October 28 was a lively one. The newsreel led with ‘Freedom Road,’ the Hungarian revolt against domination by the Soviet Union, which had already resulted in the deaths of thousands. “The most telling blow ever struck at Russia’s satellite empire,” Universal’s correspondent told the world. Also topping the news: impending war between Israel and Egypt—“the tinderbox that is the Middle East...ready for explosion.”
The X-100 was next up, deemed more important than the latest from the Mau Mau rebellion in Kenya. “A houseful of new ideas in homes,” the announcer stated brightly. “That’s the Eichler X-100: a house for tomorrow taking the pulse of today’s prospective homeowner... Everything so modern it takes your breath away—and your money, too, if you bought one!”
Click on the arrow below to experience that rare newsreel footage of the X-100’s origin in its entirety.