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Glenn H. Curtiss is a famous aviator pioneer in American history and needs no further introduction as his place in history is well established. One can read of his exploits with any simple internet search. But less known is the fact that he was also a major player in the early RV industry with some leading edge designs. Following his retirement from the aviation industry right after World War I Curtiss returned to his love of camping. He was among the very first to design a travel trailer with solid walls and a ridgid roof known as the Curtiss Trailer. He was granted US Patent 1,437,172 on November 28, 1922 for his trailer. The trailer was first put on the market in early 1920 and manufactured by the Adams Trailer Company. The company was founded in early 1920. George Carl Adams, Glenn Curtiss' half brother, was placed at the head of the company. Originally located in Garden City, Long Island, New York the company relocated to Hammondsport, New York in the later part of 1921.
Next in the model line up was a small, compact folding trailer, the Motorbungalo, designed by Glenn Curtiss. Introduced in late 1921 this trailer could be pulled by even the smallest of cars, was light enough to go anywhere, and was priced to sell to middle class buyers. The Adams Motorbungalo is so well described in chapter 12 of Autocamping, published in 1923 by F. E. Brimmer, that I will include a link to those pages. You can find the start on page 174. Adams Trailer Corporation also produced a smaller model called the Motorbungalo Junior. It resembled more of the traditional tent trailers of the time folding flat and having a cavas roof and walls. Both trailers could be used as commercial hauling trailers as desired by simply removing the camping outfits.
The Adams Trailer Company did not survive past 1922 but Glenn H. Curtiss did go on to design another popular travel trailer in 1929 known as the Aerocar. Manufactured by the Curtiss Aerocar Company the trailer sold throughout the 1930's and featured many new innovations over prior designs. The 1930's saw the dawn of the travel trailer industry but Glenn H. Curtiss would not live to see it. He passed away on July 21, 1930 while recovering from an emergency appendicitis opperation.
Glenn H. Curtiss
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