Mobile Delousing Unit

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  • Mobile Delousing Unit conceptual drawing. Mobile Delousing Unit conceptual drawing.
  • Mobile Delousing Unit erection instructions. Mobile Delousing Unit erection instructions.
  • Mobile Delousing Unit transportation details. Mobile Delousing Unit transportation details.
  • Mobile Delousing Plan of Opeation. Mobile Delousing Plan of Opeation.

Throughout his career Bertrand Goldberg often returned to design ideas, building and developing a concept with each successive project. Such is the case with the design for the Mobile Delousing Unit, in which Goldberg returned to the mast arrangement he had previously used with the North Pole Ice Cream and the Clark-Maple Gas Station.

In 1942, Goldberg enlisted with the US Office of Strategic Services at the encouragement of his friend Buckminster Fuller, who was also in the OSS. One of Goldberg's first projects was the Mobile Delousing Station--there was a typhus epidemic in Africa and carried by lice. Just as the North Pole Ice cream store was designed to follow the warm weather, the Delousing Unit was designed to travel to afflicted population centers. The self-contained unit was a folded-up building made of stressed-skin plywood with a roof suspended from a mast. When assembled the structure featured a registration area, separate entrances and facilities for men and women, and a mess area for the staff complete with bunks and a sun deck. Up to six hundred people per day could be treated by three to four staff members. With the introduction of the chemical agent DDT, which killed the typhus bearing lice, the need for the unit was eclipsed. The unit was never built. Goldberg would later modify the design to create a Mobile Penicillin Lab.