Max A. Montgomery papers, 1928-1945

Max A. Montgomery papers, 1928-1945.
1 linear foot; 2 clamshell boxes; 1 roll.
This collection is made up of two series: Series I: Personal Photographs and Series II: Projects and Studies.
Max A. Montgomery drafted designs for low income housing units during the 1930s and 1940s. He also drafted structural inventions as well as other common inventions. Montgomery's more developed project in Series I: Projects and Studies, is his Prefabricated Home Project, which was his solution to the housing problem toward the end of WWII and after. As the population rose the need for housing was in demand. Montgomery's low cost housing unit designs were built with inexpensive material and long term sustainability in consideration to the housing solution. Prefabricated or Homes for the Masses (1930-1944) as Montgomery titled it, include multiple styles, pencil on trace and bristle board drawings with design elements of kitchens, bathrooms, and wall sections. His projects have no record of being built aside from the multiple paper models included in this collection. Included in Series I is his finances and research documents, particularly on philosopher Samuel Butler, who was a major inspiration for the theory behind Montgomery's housing solution. He designed various inventions and each was certified in an enveloped self addressed to prove its patient authorization. His invention of The Mayne Metal Plank Floor System a Cellular trussed structure (1930 -1932) appears to have been built as a prototype, evidence based on a photograph demonstrating the amount of weight it held with little distortion. The miscellaneous inventions are separated into two groupings, those that are structural inventions such as, the Montgomery brick, window seal and window transom. The Miscellaneous Inventions folder included the "auto life saver," which enabled cars to ride on their flat tires without destroying the rim. Other inventions included are a portable greasing station that could double as a barbecue, a store or a portable building of any use. The invention of a galosh fastener on the back side of the shoe instead of the front side gives the allure that Montgomery was a prolific man who wanted to take advantage of being an entrepreneur in an age when industry was booming. Series II: Personal Photographs are speculated to be Max A. Montgomery and his family, and include 20 black and white photographs.
Biographical / Historical Note
Max A. Montgomery was born in 1889 and died 1946. He lived and worked in Hudson, Ohio as a prospect architect of his own right and an inventor of structural designs and inventions to enhance objects that have already been created. The bulk of his work dated 1933 to 1944.
This collection is available for use by appointment in the Department of Drawings & Archives, Avery Architectural and Fine Arts Library, Columbia University. For further information and to make an appointment, please call (212) 854-4110 or email
Manuscript/Archive Manuscript/Archive
Acquired On
March 29, 2012
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