In the last installment of Fallout Commercialism, we looked at a couple of pre-war companies, one being RoboCo Industries. The corporation was pretty powerful and successful, partly due to the fact that it was under the umbrella of Mr. House’s business ventures. Robert House was a savvy businessman and his businesses thrived under his direction. In this edition, we are going to look at some other companies that Mr. House dabbled in and their inspirations from the real world, starting with the one above them all, House Industries.
Robert House was a wealthy and forward thinking businessman that thrived before the bombs dropped during the Great War. As I stated in the previous edition, Robert House draws a lot of similarities from real-life Howard Hughes, a successful businessman from the United States. In Fallout: New Vegas we learn about House Industries, Mr. House’s umbrella company that held majority shares in some top corporations from the pre-war era, one of them being RoboCo Industries. The other two were H&H Tool Company and REPCONN Aerospace, which we will explore later in this edition.
On the topic of RoboCo Industries, anybody that has visited Mr. House’s penthouse in Fallout: New Vegas probably noticed the Securitron “girls” that roamed his living quarters, developed in conjunction with RoboCo. One of them is named Jane. There was supposed to be another named Marilyn, but she was ultimately cut from the game. The story behind these two Securitrons is an interesting one.
Jane is a specially programmed Securitron that serves and entertains Mr. House in the state that he is in. She is commonly known as one of Mr. House’s girls. What’s interesting about her is her relation to the real life American actress Jane Russell, who bears a striking resemblance to the Securitron’s face. The 1950’s film star got her start with The Outlaw, in which she co-starred with Howard Hughes, who we already know is the inspiration for Robert House.
One of Jane Russell’s friends was icon Marilyn Monroe, who was the source of inspiration for the other Securitron named Marilyn.
Marilyn did not make the final cut in the game due to problems with the character’s voice over, which was not able to be fixed in time for release. Thus, the world never got to see Mr. House’s other lesser-known robot slave, but thanks to some concept art, we can see why Marilyn and Marilyn Monroe are related…
The interesting thing about the H & H Tool Company was that it was never actually owned by Robert House, although he had a big part in the company’s history. The tool company was originally founded by the father of Robert and Anthony, Robert’s half brother, House. When their father passed on, Anthony cheated the family company out of Robert’s hands and took the company for himself. The company did fine in the initial years of his ownership, but then things started to get shaky as Anthony missed his father and his advice. The final descent occurred when Robert, who eventually went on to bigger and better things with House Industries, made an attack on the company through the stock exchange, nailing the final nail in the coffin.
The real life Howard Hughes, who is the inspiration behind Mr. House, was actually the owner of Hughes Tool Company, a business that was actually started by his father, Howard Hughes Sr., as the Sharp-Hughes Tool Company. The company was a big part of the Hughes family, which led Howard Hughes Jr. to buy stock of the company from his relatives to continue the business. He eventually sold the company in 1972 to pursue other business interests.
REPCONN Aerospace is the final company that interested Mr. House. The name stands for Rocket Engineering and Production COmpaNy of Nevada. REPCONN’s main focus was the manufacture of Rockets for the US government, with their headquarters and test site still standing in the Mojave Wasteland. The company was at first an up-start, but it was seen as having great potential, which made it a prime target for Poseidon Energy and RoboCo Industries. The company continued to operate on their own, until it ultimately fell under House Industries’ umbrella.
One of the first things you notice is the company’s logo, which looks pretty familiar to the famous aviation company Boeing’s logo. This probably is not a coincidence considering the two company’s shared interests. What’s probably less apparent is the fact that the company is actually based on the real life company PEPCON, which operated in a facility in Nevada. The company originally specialized in space fuel production until the 1990’s. The company’s facility eventually caught on fire and received massive damage from explosions due to space shuttle fuel oxidizer which was not stored correctly.
REPCONN produced a lot of propaganda posters relating to corporate espionage that can be seen in the Mojave Wasteland. These kinds of posters were common among government companies during time of war. In my opinion, they were my favorite posters from the game. They also produced billboards advertising the headquarter’s museum, which offered guests a look at the company’s ventures
and other projects. The billboards featured a robot that is probably inspired by the toy space robots of the 1950’s. After completing the tour at the HQ, there is an abundance of toy space rockets, which were another popular toy at the time.