My parents recently moved into a ranch style house and on my first visit I noticed the above medallion hanging outside their garage. It seems my parents have moved into a Gold Medallion Home — now, what exactly does that mean?The small round plaque hanging on the frame of my parents' garage door reads: Gold Medallion Home. Live Better Electrically. And, as you might guess, everything in this house is electric — from the baseboard heaters to the range. These homes started popping up in the late 1950s and early 1960s. Indeed, the house my parents recently bought was built in 1964. At that time, many homes ran on coal burning or gas furnaces so electric baseboard heat was seen as a novel new approach to heating a home. Based on a newspaper ad from the time that I came across, "It's more fun living in an all electric Gold Medallion Home. Electric heat ... the heating system of tomorrow is yours to enjoy today." The ad also boasts plenty of electric outlets "to hand your present and your future requirements. You have all the power you need to keep adding the latest time and labor saving tools and equipment as they are developed." Anyone who has ever lived in an older home knows how true this statement can be. The house where I spent my teen years was built in the 1920s and had only one electrical outlet in each room.
From today's standpoint, it may seem strange to boast that a home is all electric. Today we'd be more impressed if a home was powered by alternative energy. By 1960s standards, however, this was something to be truly excited about!
Image: Jason Loper