Prairie Schooner, 1937 Style


In 1937, travel trailers were still a bit of a novelty, the first ones being manufactured in 1930.  People had been auto camping for sometime though, and by the late 1920s, home built trailers were appearing on America’s roads.   In 1929, Arthur Sherman of Detroit had a carpenter build a camping trailer for his family.  It was so popular at the camping spots that Sherman saw the potential in the idea.  He started manufacturing travel trailers as the Covered Wagon Company.  Others followed, with the center of manufacture being Elkhorn, Indiana, which had 34 trailer builders by 1935.  Despite the Depression, the travel trailer business boomed.  It is estimated that in the 1930s there were up to 2000 makers of travel trailers.

I’ve always been a sucker for wardrobe lists, ever since I was eight years old and got the list for summer camp.  So this 1937 ad is one of my favorites.  Here we have Mrs. Robert Fulton, Jr. detailing her packing list as she and the mister head off across the country.  She made sure that it was all washable, or rather “Luxable”, as this is a Lux soap ad.  To better read the ad, click on each photo for an enlargement.

Tomorrow, I’ll write more about the 1930s trailer boom and how WWII changed the trailer industry.  A hint:


Filed under Camping and Hiking, Proper Clothing, Vintage Travel

7 responses to “Prairie Schooner, 1937 Style

  1. Em

    Love this post! She looks more glamorous camping than many people today do when attending a party or a wedding. I always love your sporty and camping posts.


  2. KeLLy Ann

    A Vintage Travel Trailer is on my list of must haves. Although, my sights are set on a 1967 Shasta or a Tin Can Ham around the same year. I love this ad, because I do the same thing. I still have my list from Vegas when we went last year. It’s so funny rereading it.
    Another lovely post!


  3. Love the vintage camper. Have a little plate plaque in my camper that depicts a vintage camper similar to this. Can’t wait til tomorrow!


  4. 2 evening dresses! That’s some fancy vacationing. I love it!


  5. My closet lives and dies by the wardrobe list! Love them as well.


  6. Pingback: The 1930s Travel Trailer Camping Craze « The Vintage Traveler

  7. I too love wardrobe lists!! I still keep hoping I’ll find the perfect one that ensures I pack exactly the right stuff.


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