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Transportation the vintage teardrop  camping with a nod to the past | Upload General

The Vintage Teardrop: Camping With A Nod To The Past

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by: Sharai Hoekema
the vintage teardrop  camping with a nod to the past | Upload

The so-called Teardrop trailer was first introduced in March/April 1939, in a magazine called Popular Homecraft. Originally designed and built by Louis Rogers of Pasadena, California as a coach for his honeymoon, it quickly made headlines for its futuristic design and ease of use. Thousands and thousands of people fell in love with the quirky trailer that gave them an unprecedented level of freedom, or so they thought.

Just a first glance at the fun-looking vehicle and you will be dreaming away of summer road trips and camping outdoors. And while it may not have been in fashion as much as it was back in the forties, it does not take away anything from the fact that it might have been one of the very first examples of a tiny house. The recent wave of popularity surrounding the concept of downsizing and living in increasingly smaller spaces is, as such, not entirely new - although it nicely goes hand in hand with sustainability goals. 

Reducing carbon footprints (Also interesting: Electric Bicycles And Cars Were Ones Classic Models: Retro)

A closer look at the specifics of the Vintage Teardrop illustrate how it could be considered a predecessor of the tiny house movement. At the time of its first publication, people went nuts for its advantages. The trailers were tiny, light, easy to tow, and reduced drag and fuel consumption due to its aerodynamic shape. Even the Italian mini-car Isetta, better known as the original Bubble Car due to its egg shape and bubble-like windows, could easily tow it - making for a great sight along the way.

With a total floor plan of 8 inch by 4 inch, comprised of tongue-and-groove oak flooring on a pine chassis and hard pressed board as sides and top, the original egg-shaped trailer sleeps two. Additionally, it boasted a kitchenette in the rear with an ice box, sink and stove, and a separate curtain-enclosed dressing room providing some privacy while dressing. Furthermore, the floor plan included space for a pressurised water tank, a small clothes closet, and a chemical toilet.

Vintage Teardrop refined

After the initial success, two guys bought an abandoned fruit stand in Norwalk in post-World War II California. They figured they would take the concept, tune it down and clad it by aluminum instead. Soon after, they started selling their unique take on the Teardrop trailer, in doing so minimising its use of raw materials. These raw materials were often procured from recycled products - particularly war reminisants, such as Jeeps salvaged from sunken ships. The only downside? The many bullet holes in them, that had to be welded up during production.

Although the main incentive driving the use of minimal, recycled materials was not nearly as noble as ‘saving the planet’ and something more along the lines of ‘saving money’, it sure teaches us great lessons for the development of tiny house projects today. 

Vintage teardrop trailors got a worldwide obsession

If you are interested where the guys with the fruit cart ended up with their concept, you can rest assured that the answer is, in fact, ‘in the history books’. Soon after their prototype completion, sales exploded - in particular after some much-needed upgrades to the interior and facilities. Solely working from their own workplace, constructing their specially developed kits, these guys ended up building more than 40 trailers per day. Thousands and thousands of Teardrop trailers hit the road in the following years. 


                                                  The Vintage Teardrop: Camping With A Nod To The Past

 

As if this was not yet enough, the guys kept on innovating and came up with a slightly more conventional 8 inch by 14 inch “coach” model in a camper edition, that once again resulted in demand crushing the actual supply. 

Even today, their company Kit Manufacturing Co. still thrives, manufacturing all kinds of recreational vehicles and mobile home equipment. One of these guys kept on running the company until his death in 2012, while the other spent the last decades of his life enjoying his well-earned retirement.

Tiny houses and vitage Teardrops

As explained before, the Vintage Teardrop is a perfect example of why tiny houses can - and will! -  be successful if done right. (Also interesting: Tiny Houses Is All About Having A Smaller Footprint Globaly)

Downsizing and living small will feel like an adventure to us, people, if we feel that it adds value to our life. Or charm, as the Teardrop trailer did. Combine this with a promise to make one’s life more sustainable and eco-friendly through the reduced carbon footprint and use of recycled materials, and we will be sure to embrace the tiny house-trend - just like our (grand)parents embraced the teardrop trailer in the forties and fifties.

All about transportation

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The Vintage Teardrop: Camping With A Nod To The Past

The so-called Teardrop trailer was first introduced in March/April 1939, in a magazine called Popular Homecraft. Originally designed and built by Louis Rogers of Pasadena, California as a coach for his honeymoon, it quickly made headlines for its futuristic design and ease of use. Thousands and thousands of people fell in love with the quirky trailer that gave them an unprecedented level of freedom, or so they thought. Just a first glance at the fun-looking vehicle and you will be dreaming away of summer road trips and camping outdoors. And while it may not have been in fashion as much as it was back in the forties, it does not take away anything from the fact that it might have been one of the very first examples of a tiny house. The recent wave of popularity surrounding the concept of downsizing and living in increasingly smaller spaces is, as such, not entirely new - although it nicely goes hand in hand with sustainability goals.   Reducing carbon footprints ( Also interesting:  Electric Bicycles And Cars Were Ones Classic Models: Retro ) A closer look at the specifics of the Vintage Teardrop illustrate how it could be considered a predecessor of the tiny house movement. At the time of its first publication, people went nuts for its advantages. The trailers were tiny, light, easy to tow, and reduced drag and fuel consumption due to its aerodynamic shape. Even the Italian mini-car Isetta, better known as the original Bubble Car due to its egg shape and bubble-like windows, could easily tow it - making for a great sight along the way. With a total floor plan of 8 inch by 4 inch, comprised of tongue-and-groove oak flooring on a pine chassis and hard pressed board as sides and top, the original egg-shaped trailer sleeps two. Additionally, it boasted a kitchenette in the rear with an ice box, sink and stove, and a separate curtain-enclosed dressing room providing some privacy while dressing. Furthermore, the floor plan included space for a pressurised water tank, a small clothes closet, and a chemical toilet. Vintage Teardrop refined After the initial success, two guys bought an abandoned fruit stand in Norwalk in post-World War II California. They figured they would take the concept, tune it down and clad it by aluminum instead. Soon after, they started selling their unique take on the Teardrop trailer, in doing so minimising its use of raw materials. These raw materials were often procured from recycled products - particularly war reminisants, such as Jeeps salvaged from sunken ships. The only downside? The many bullet holes in them, that had to be welded up during production. Although the main incentive driving the use of minimal, recycled materials was not nearly as noble as ‘saving the planet’ and something more along the lines of ‘saving money’, it sure teaches us great lessons for the development of tiny house projects today.   Vintage teardrop trailors got a worldwide obsession If you are interested where the guys with the fruit cart ended up with their concept, you can rest assured that the answer is, in fact, ‘in the history books’. Soon after their prototype completion, sales exploded - in particular after some much-needed upgrades to the interior and facilities. Solely working from their own workplace, constructing their specially developed kits, these guys ended up building more than 40 trailers per day. Thousands and thousands of Teardrop trailers hit the road in the following years.   {youtube}                                                   The Vintage Teardrop: Camping With A Nod To The Past   As if this was not yet enough, the guys kept on innovating and came up with a slightly more conventional 8 inch by 14 inch “coach” model in a camper edition, that once again resulted in demand crushing the actual supply.   Even today, their company Kit Manufacturing Co. still thrives, manufacturing all kinds of recreational vehicles and mobile home equipment. One of these guys kept on running the company until his death in 2012, while the other spent the last decades of his life enjoying his well-earned retirement. Tiny houses and vitage Teardrops As explained before, the Vintage Teardrop is a perfect example of why tiny houses can - and will! -   be successful if done right. ( Also interesting:  Tiny Houses Is All About Having A Smaller Footprint Globaly ) Downsizing and living small will feel like an adventure to us, people, if we feel that it adds value to our life. Or charm, as the Teardrop trailer did. Combine this with a promise to make one’s life more sustainable and eco-friendly through the reduced carbon footprint and use of recycled materials, and we will be sure to embrace the tiny house-trend - just like our (grand)parents embraced the teardrop trailer in the forties and fifties. All about transportation
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