Airstream : The oldest American brand of Travel trailers in US (1930)

26-05-2018

(USKings.us) Airstream is an American brand of Travel trailers ("caravans" in British English) which are easily recognized by the distinctive shape of their rounded and polished aluminum coachwork. This body shape dates back to the 1930s and is based on designs created by Hawley Bowlus, who had earlier overseen construction of Charles Lindbergh's aircraft, the Spirit of St. Louis.

Airstream trailers and recreational vehicles are manufactured in Jackson Center, Ohio, USA. The company, now a division of Thor Industries, employs more than 800 people, and is the oldest in the industry.

The company was created by Wally Byam, a lawyer by training, who began building trailers out of Masonite in his backyard in Los Angeles during the late 1920s. Byam published a magazine selling "how-to" kits to customers wishing to build their own trailers. After helping market Hawley Bowlus' trailer, Byam acquired the struggling Bowlus Company.

Wally Byam

 

In 1936, Byam introduced the "Airstream Clipper", which was essentially a rebadged 1935 Bowlus, with the door relocated from the front to the side. The design cut down on wind resistance and thus improved fuel efficiency. It was the first of the now familiar sausage-shaped, silver aluminum Airstream trailers. The first Airstream, called the "Clipper" in 1936, was named after the first trans-Atlantic seaplane. It slept four, carried its own water supply, was fitted with electric lights and cost $1,200.

Of more than 400 travel trailer builders operating in 1936, Airstream was the sole survivor of the Depression. During World War II, travel became a luxury most could not afford and non-military industries faced an acute aluminum shortage. When World War II ended, the economy boomed, and people's attention once again turned towards leisure travel. Byam's company went back into production in 1948. In July 1952, a new facility in Jackson Center, Ohio, was established. 1979 saw the last Airstreams to be manufactured in California.

Airstream trailers are commonly used to transport American officials around the world. The trailers are strapped down inside military cargo planes. The trailers feature leather seats, air conditioning and climate control, wood panelling, porcelain toilet, LED televisions, surround sound, and Blu-ray players.

According to wikipedia


Van Nguyen (Collect and Nominate for the U.S. Record) - USKings (Source of photos: internet)

 

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