August 25, 2012
Summer 2012 has now come to an end and it's been quite awhile since my my last post in this blog or upload to this website. But the year hasn't been quiet by no means. My plan is to spend the Fall of 2012 uploading over 100 new brochures and advertisements that I have come across, as well as update several manufacturer's profiles. As this website is merely a hobby of mine time to work on it is very limited. And sometimes its hard to just stay motivated as my interest turns to other things. What little time I had this year was spent researching and acquiring new material, a trend I hope continues. I have some very exciting material to add, most notably from the early years, 1913-1915. The Campbell family out of California made contact with me and provided a brochure and photos of the Campbell trailer, the first recorded patented trailer. The family had no idea the importance of the camper. The information will be added very soon. In addition to this website I've spent the last year writing a brief history of the pop-up camper for the Tin Can Tourist quarterly newsletter. I will be submitting part IV in September. Once I do so I will update the website's history using the articles I wrote. That will fill in some gaps I've left. To kick things off I've just uploaded a 1960 brochure for Heilite Trailers along with some new advertisements.
October 24, 2011
Just uploaded several high quality brochures for Cox Trailers (1966, 1968 qty 2, and 1969). A few days ago I uploaded a high quality brochure for Auto Kamp from 1918. I spent several hours performing restoration work on some excellent high resolution scans of the brochure donated by Jason Jablonski. Again, thank you Jason for your contribution, it is an excellent addition to this website! Work continues on the early camping trailer section. Since the last blog entry several new manufacturers from these early years have been indentified and added, as well as their corresponding company profiles if known. Research into these early years is very difficult so it's slow going. I am very pleased to say I have identified what I believe to be the earliest manufactured tent trailer for camping in America. All research points to Detroit Trailer from early 1913. The company capitalized on the modifications auto tourist were already making to their trailers during 1912, and earlier. I still have a small mountain of material that I need to add to the website. I have acquired a 1920 Lyon's Trailer brochure. Also I have several color brochures for camping trailers from the 1960's, some of which include Wheel Camper, Trade Winds, Palomino and Rolite. I also have several newly identified smaller companies to add from this time period. At the beginning of this year I intended on adding the camping trailers sold by retailers like Montgomery Wards, Sears, and JC Penny. I still intend to to so. I just didn't anticipate the mountain of data/brochures/Ads I would acquire. It's a great problem to have! Since I perform photo/document restoration on every piece of paper that is added to this website it is very time consuming. But I believe the effort will be worth the end results. Keep the emails coming, I enjoy hearing from everybody!
October 6, 2011
Research into the early years continue and new facts have surfaced, some of which will require a slight rewriting of the general history of the early years. Included will be several new companies identified. I was aware of some companies, like the Los Angeles Trailer Co., but lacked supporting documented evidence as to their operations. In the case of the Los Angeles Trailer Co. I still lack facts regarding its tent trailer, although I have identified one advertisement that proves they did offer one by 1916, inline with the trend at the time. And to my surprise, Detroit Trailer (not associated with Los Angeles Trailer Co. as believed prior) did come out with an early, very simplistic, version of the tent trailer in by June of 1913. I will document the company and trailer very soon. I still have several high quality color brochures for Cox Campers, Trade Winds, and Wheel Camper that I have yet to edit and add. Soon I hope!
September 25, 2011
Just uploaded about 100 brochures and advertisements with about twice that number to go. Most notable in this upload was the following brochures; 1965 Starcraft, 1961-1965 Bethany, 1966 Skamper, 1970 Nimrod, 1968 Appleby and 1964 Wayfarer. Also several nice ADs for Higgins, Karrial, Gilkison, Heilite and Cozy Trailer were included. But... the most important news I have to share is that I have uncovered evidence that the earliest patent I have for a tent trailer, the Campbell Folding Trailer from 1914, actually did go into production in Los Angeles, CA. While I have not confirmed if that happened prior to January 1916 I did confirm it did so in 1916. But the patent "applied for" date is usually, without any known exceptions, the date which trailers go into production (and sometimes prior to the date). So most likely this trailer went into production in Los Angelas in October 1914. I'll be adding that information soon, along with about 50 plus ADs for the early years 1914 - 1919. Several new companies from both the early years and the 1960's have been identified. I'll be adding all that information and more soon!
June 7, 2011
OK, I did not think it would be six months before I posted another update. I have been busy pursuing other interest or concerns and I've fallen a bit behind with regards to this website. But the emails continue to pour in and within the last 6 months I've acquired several great vintage brochures, most donated by individuals. I have much information to add also! It's exciting to see this website begin to grow into what I envisioned originally for it. But it's a lot of work. If you have donated any material to this website and do not see it yet, just know I will get to it by summer's end. As of this blog entry my most recent additional is a personal story by Eric Lammes, owner and operator of Corral RV Park and Drive-In Theater in Guymon, OK, and how he acquired a vintage Karriall Kamper in great condition. Click HERE to read his story. Personal stories make this website just that much better. I encourage anyone who has a vintage tent trailer to consider sending me their story. More to come!
January 18, 2011
What's NEW for 2011? I have given some thought to what's next for this website. The website will be expanded to include a section for the major retailers like Sears, Wards and JC Penney who did not manufacture their own trailers, but sold thousands of them under their own brand names. This section will be simpler in nature than the manufacturers of pop-up campers. And just for fun the website will be expanded to include a section for vintage pop-up camper toys. Throughout the 1960's and 1970's some of the major toy manufacturers produced "loose" replicas of the unique or popular pop-up campers of the time period. Also the website will be expanded to include a section for Canadian manufactured pop-up campers. Due to the unique relationship between Canada and America our two nations share a mutual relationship in regards to the RV industry. Canada should be included.
Several nice brochures have been added since the last blog post. The most notable is a 1920 Auto Kamp brochure. Others brochures added include a 1959-1960 Apache, 1971 and 1972 T.E.C., 1967 Tradewinds, 1979 Venture, 1969 E-Z Kamper, 1975 Rockwood and a 1972 Starcraft. And I have more coming thanks to a recent donation, which is still in progress. A great find for this website! Several very nice advertisements were added also.
I completed the Mallard Coach Corporation company profile. Over Christmas I continued research on several others. I have collected much information and should be able to complete a few more company profiles as time permits. During this time I continued to clean up the website's code. Much progress was made, but much remains to be done. My focus will be on both content and display going forward. One thing you might notice is the blank "yellow" space to the right of each company profile. Eventually I will add small resolution photos of the manufacturer's campers throughout the years. That will give the website a nice look-and-feel.
So what else would make 2011 a great year for this web site? You guessed it! Scanned or photographed donations of any material you might have. Your personal stories and photos are welcome too. I look forward to seeing what the New Year has in store.
December 7, 2010
Even though I've made no entry in my blog recently I have been very busy adding material to this website. So much material that I can't remember everything. Some of the more notable highlights are two original 1957 Apache brochures, high-quality scans of several brochures for Apache (1973,1974, 1976, 1978), an original 1958 brochure for Bethany, several articles from the late 1950's that include Nimrod, Apache, and other pop-up campers from the time period, 1966 Starcraft brochure and a 1973 brochure coming soon, 1965 Starcraft boat brochure and excerpts from the 1967 brochure, 1973 Camel brochure and lots of advertisments and articles. And I have more material that I'm making ready to deploy to the website including a couple of new manufacturers discovered.
It is slow going but I am making progress on some of the missing company profiles. Some company profiles are still unknown. In 2011 I will publish a list of unknown company profiles with the hopes that others will fill in the gaps. Most exciting for me this year has been making contact with some of the families who are the decendants of some of the more notable inventors, even one dating back to 1916. I'm hoping to add their stories as told by them to this website and any material they might have available to share.
As 2010 comes to a close I will be making a few minor changes to this website. I plan to continue to eliminate all PDF files in an effort to maintain control over the display format and speed. I will keep a few hidden PDF files out there for anyone who already linked to them. Also I would like to update the home page to reflect the new year.
As always is the case I really want to encourage those of you with brochures, articles, advertisements, and even photos to scan them and email them to me. A few have come forward already and a very BIG thank you to them. Collaborative efforts could grow this website way beyond what I am capable of doing by myself.
In case I don't make another entry this year I want to wish everyone Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!
August 24, 2010
Summer is over for the kids and they are back in school. Of course camping season continues! After a very busy summer of family vacations and road trips I have turned my attention back to this website. Recently I've added a 1928 Chenango brochure, 1947 Higgins brochure, 3 great articles for the Gilkie trailer from the 1960's, and at least another 100 vintage ADs ranging from the 1920's until the 1970's. Most notable are several ADs and articles for Nimrod, Apache, Heilite, Higgins, EZ Kamper, Starcraft, Tradewinds, and Trimline. Check them out!
Next I will focus on adding a few company profiles that I already have and noting the ones I don't have. Where I have limited facts, but not enough to write a company profile, I will add those facts in a list format along with my assumptions about the company.
I've decided to add a new section for the retail sellers of camping trailers like Sears, Montgomery Wards, Western Auto, McCroy and others as I identify them. Sears and the others did not manufacture their own trailers. But they sold thousands of them and thus deserve recognition.
May 19, 2010
Just finished adding over 200 vintage ADs, articles, and some brochures for several different companies (too many to name here). During this time I have acquire some very nice brochures and additional ADs. Most notable is an ORIGINAL 1916 WARNER TRAILER COMPANY brochure for their Prairie Schooner. This is only the second brochure I have found from the original year of mass production, 1916. Even more importantly is that Warner Trailer had manufacturing facilities already setup by late 1915 to manufacture standard auto trailers and heavy-duty work trailers. A.P. Warner had designed and built a revolutionary auto trailer for the time, thus making him one of the industry leaders. More coming!!!
May 6, 2010
Added: Advertisements for Cox, Sorlien, Reliart, Camel MFG, 4 articles for 1916 - 1925, EZ Kamper, Steury, Sherwood, Venture, and some others. I still have over 200 vintage advertisements and articles that I am curently preparing to deploy to the website. Included are ADs for well known companies such as Apache, Nimrod, and Heilite as well as several smaller regional manufacturers not currently on the website. In addition to this I have several company profiles coming together, especially for the 1960-1979 category.
April 26, 2010
Added a nice color 1971 brochure for Skamper, two vintage Zagelmeyer photos showing the camper with its owners, advertisements for Bethany - Nimrod - Wayfarer, and a new manufacturer from 1953 - Sportrailer Mfg. Co. (they manufactured an aluminum trailer around the same time Heilite did). And still more coming!
April 23, 2010
Added: Puma by Ski Tow 1965 brochure, Jayco 1972 brochure, 16 Photos of an original Warner Trailer and 2 Advertisements from 1946 and 1947 for Higgins Trailer. Much more coming!
April 22, 2010
A great find! I just added the oldest advertisement I have found so far for the Apache camping trailer. It is from July 25, 1957, early in Apache's first official year of production. A Sports and Marine store ran the ad in a local newspaper in Owosso, Michigan, near Lapeer.
Another great find, Rex Mfg. Co. from the 1930's. At the moment I only have two brochures, one for camping trailers and one for the manufacturing in general. I've added only the relevant pages of each. Limited company profile coming next.
And to finish out the day's work I just added another company from the early years, F.P. Lyons Iron Works. This company has proved quite elusive. I had photos of a restored trailer but no facts. Later I found a patent, (much by chance) with an inventor's name, but no manufacturer. Eventually I was able to tie the inventor's name to his company in his own home town with the help of the 1918 Bureau of Labor report. Mystery solved!
April 20, 2010
Just uploaded new material for Ward Manufacturing - Wayfarer. Added two nice brochures for 1965 and 1967. I split apart Wayfarer from Nimrod, giving them each their own section. I also wrote up the known company division history. Still working on the Apache known history summary. I have a lot of new material for several companies including some previously unknown companies. I will be deploying this material slowly over the next few days/weeks. Keep checking back!
April 19, 2010
It's been awhile since I've uploaded any material to this website, but that doesn't mean nothing has been done. I've been doing research during this time and have been preparing documents for the website which is very time-consuming. I've just added several new documents for the Vesely Manufacturing Company (Apache) and am currently rewriting their company profile. It was one of the largest, and well known, companies so there is a lot of material for this company. As time moves on there will be even more. I have discovered two new companies/trailers from the early years, I'll be adding them soon. The early years are exciting finds for me. And, as always, please donate any brochures you might have. You can simply scan and send me a copy and keep the original yourself.
January 10, 2010
I found the source of the Safari / Firefox compatibility issue. It was a bit of incomplete code, whereas IE did not require the code to be complete to be XHTML 4.01 loose transitional Safari and Firefox do. So I am in the process of fixing it. As of the date of this post I have completed section 1900-1945. But..... I have a long ways to go. I am also in the process of cleaning up the webpages and making them look a bit more professional as well. I still have a bit more material almost ready to add. Of course I keep finding more, as I do I'll keep posting it! (Section 1946-1959 now updated as well.........)
January 4, 2010
As of the date of this entry I have just completed preparing 110 pages of material to add to this website. Included will be some very nice brochures and advertisements, many for well known manufacturers like Chenango, Apache, Nimrod, and Heilite. It will be one of my largest deployments yet, and will require several days/weeks to complete. Much of the material comes from the early 1960's and is in color.
January 4, 2010
This website was established on January 19, 2009. Throughout 2009 most effort was put into further research and much document scanning, document preparation, and document deployment. Just getting one single manufacturer brochure or advertisement deployed to the website is very time-consuming, and this website has hundreds. Because almost all effort was placed on website content the quality of the presentation has been lacking. To those of you who are using Safari my apologies. Some of this website's coding is incompatible with the Safari browser. I will strive to fix that in 2010 along with other presentation issues encountered.
Copyright © 2009 PopupCamperHistory
Website created by Joel Silvey, 2009