Jack Cutter Who Came From Fort Worth Indiana For Work In General Electric Plant In His Trailer At F S A Camp Erie Pennsylvania June 41 Copy

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31 Comments

  1. This was a great read. Thank you for putting the article together. I sell manufactured homes ans it is great to see a timeline summary of the history.

  2. Can you refer me to information about Kimberley (or Kemberley, it is hard to read under 3+ layers of paint) Modular Homes built in 1987? I am trying to fix up a 24′ x 48′ model, Serial No. 9637GA, and have had NO luck even finding a reference to the company, only Trailer Parks with that or similar names. I was hoping to get some specs or old pics.

  3. So, what got me here is the Tri State Tornado of 1925. It mentioned that mobile homes were destroyed. I had no idea there were mobile homes back then. Thanks for the info. Pretty cool.

  4. hi crystal!

    I write my master thesis about the history of mobile homes and trailer parks. I can find a little on the internet about mobile homes but not enough. It would be very glad if you would like to share with me your sources.
    It would be greatful to have your help!

  5. Hi Crystal, I am writing a thesis on Tiny Houses and I would be very glad if you would like to share with me your sources. There is little about the first mobile homes on the internet (and also in books), and it would be amazing for me to have your help.

  6. Do you have any information about the Princes Home? My parent bought a new one in 1963, we lived there for about 4 years.

    1. Hi Bob,

      I do not personally have any info but it sounds really familiar so I think I’ve seen an advertisement somewhere. It had a little girl dressed up in her mother’s clothes and said something about becoming royalty. (It may have been a different brand).

      Hopefully, a reader will see this and can help.

  7. Your page would make my parents proud. Lewis and Betty Bennett were industry pioneers in AL and SC. Dad was the first man to install a double wide over a basement in 1970. It was a 24’ Marlette. (Have pics) He also patented the two line liquid water level called the “level right “ level, in 1979. Similar units are still used today. We opened Bennett Homes of Gaffney Inc 23 years ago, and myself and the third generation are still going strong today. As a matter of fact, I’m currently trading for a 59’ Marlette 10’ that still looks great. I’ll send some of the literature we still have from the early days. Thanks again for great information on the business! Jon Bennett

    1. Aw, thank you so much! That really means a lot to me. Admittedly, I’ve been hard on the industry (and especially salespeople) but I hope I make it clear that there is a clear divide between the good dealers and the bad ones. When a company has been in business for generations you can be pretty sure they do their customers right.

      I would LOVE to talk to you more. Maybe we can do an article about your dad’s install and his water level? I would love that!

  8. Anyone have any idea where I might find a floor plan for a Guerdon double-wide A5372/#254187 and B5372/#241546? Dennis in Auburn, CA

  9. I am trying to define what a House trailer is considered in the 60″S. On my warranty deed it states no house trailers I believe this to mean mobile home. Where can I find out if in fact this is what is meant by this. I have a 5th wheel trailer and I am being told that this is considered a House trailer

    1. Hi Carol,

      If I had to guess, the ‘no house trailers’ would mean anything built before 1976 which is when HUD code/regulation mandated better building codes for factory-built housing. 5th wheels are considered a recreational vehicle and are not built to HUD standards at all so most towns/parks/municipalities/etc will not allow RV’s or ‘mobile homes’ or ‘trailers’ used for full-time living (aka house trailers).

      There’s a real problem across the nation when it comes to the terminology and words used. Technically, a mobile home is a factory-built house created for full-time living that was built before 1976 and doesn’t meet any HUD code. Manufactured homes are any factory-built home that was built after June 1976 and does meet the minimum HUD code. The term trailer is used for both in the Southern states.

      Best of luck!

  10. My Great Grandfather was a pioneer in the mobile home industry. He was a brother to Guerdon T Wolfe Sr. and how Guerdon got into the business. Norman C. Wolfe Sr. he started Wolfe Bodies in 1924 in Detroit, Silver Dome Inc, and American Coach Co. later in Cassopolis, MI

    1. Awesome! Do you have any cool momentoes? I’d love to see some pics and hear some stories..Drop me an email if you ever feel like talking about vintage mobile homes! (CrystalAdkins @ MobileHomeLiving.org – -just put it all together)

      Thanks for commenting!

    2. I’m Theodore A. Wolfe. Guerdon T. Wolfe was my father’s full brother. Norman C. Wolfe was my father’s (Roland O. Wolfe) half brother from grampa’s first marriage. Guerdon T. Wolfe built General Coach, and Great Lakes Industries in Marlette. I believe Uncle Guerdon had something to do with Marlette Homes also, but don’t know for sure! My father lived in Detroit,Mich. when he was young in a17 foot trailer, one of uncle Guerden’s first built units. Dad always said the canvas roof leaked like a side! Dad problem had something to do with the first trailers but can’t remember! I know uncle Guerdon and dad started the prototype unit in Snover. Also I understand that Your great grandfather (Norman) was Vice President of all the trailer corporations in the world at one point. He was a great man, very intelligent and would give a $50 bill whenever we seen him and my aunt Ruth at family dinners on the farm in Snover! Uncle Norman’s father, Theodore A. Wolfe the first was a brilliant man I understand and probley had his input also. I was very young back then, but can remember a few things my father told me. We still own the farm where your Great Grand father was raised in Snover. I hope this gives you an idea how great these people were. You can email me if you like at tawolfe1@hotmail.com if you like. I probley won’t be back on the site again.

    3. Guerdon T. Wolfe was my uncle and your great grand father was also my uncle. I could tell you more about them if you like. E-mail me at tawolfe1@ hotmail.com if your interested.

    4. i remember the American coach company as a little person and my dad worked there, still live in the same town! ha

    5. Guerdon T Wolfe Sr. Was my fathers (Dale M Wolfe) uncle. I was surprised to see your post and that my Uncle Ted had posted/replied. My father also talks about Jr Guerdon. Would love to hear from you with more about the family tree. Thethreewolfes@yahoo.com

  11. I am interested in the early days of manufacture of mobile homes and campers. I lives in Marlette, MI which had several factories==Marlette Coach Co., General Coach Works, Guerdon Homes, and Active Homes. My dad worked for three of these, remembers a man who painted a hunting scene on the back of each Marlette camper (White tailed deer, Pheasant, Ducks). I went to school with Earl Swett’s granddaughter (a founder of Marlette Homes), and Guerdon Wolfe’s grandson, a founder of a Mobile Home Company. Was Marlette a pioneer location? Or was Elkhart (I lived there for six years too).

    1. Hi Dan,

      Lucky you! As far as I know, Elkhart, IN is considered the mobile home capital and is the home of the Mobile Home Hall of Fame. They apparently have an amazing library that would be a great place to visit if you’re in the area. I would love to visit someday so if you ever do get there PLEASE take images for me.

      I would love to hear some of your stories about the towns back when the mobile home industry was in full swing. So glad you commented. Please keep in touch!

    2. Sad to say I currently live in a Marlette mobile home n drain in jutchen won’t drain. Was told the drain vent is on top of the house. Never heard of such. Is this true?

      1. Hi Dianne,

        So, your vent stack is the pipe going through your walls and out your roof. It takes the sewer smell away from the house and keeps the waste lines/system in a neutral state so it can flush out the waste. It could be a clog in your vent stack but 90% of the time if it’s a kitchen you have a clog in your or around your P-trap from grease buildup. It’s particularly tricky because snaking these clogs don’t really work as the clog just closes off again as you pull the snake back. You may have to open up the pipe and clean it out by hand. If it’s not that you can try installing an auto vent under your sink, that will act as a mini stack vent.

        Best of luck!

  12. I am interested in finding out more information on our family’s trailer. We lived in it from about 1953 to 1956. My older brother says it was a Pratt, was 39 feet long and unusual in that it had three axles. Can you help me? I’d love to see a photo or a diagram of the interior.

    Thank you!

    1. Hi Joy!

      There have been hundreds (maybe thousands) of models made over the decades so finding information on an exact vintage home is pretty hard. Google search is amazingly accurate though if you type in as much info as you can about it. You may stumble upon a brochure or someone talking about it in an article. Best of luck!

  13. I’m trying to find information on Elcar Trailerized Homes. Do you have any suggestions on where I might start?

    1. Hi Dan,

      If you go to Facebook and search for vintage mobile home groups and/or elcar you’ll find several groups that are very active. Join the group and make a post asking about information.

      You may want to order the digital reproductions of the mobile home magazines for the era you are interested in and hope there is an article or press release or ad about them. You can find them for around $10 for several on a CD.

      If you are close to Elkhart IN there is a mobile home hall of fame that has an extensive library too. Unfortunately, there isn’t a lot of resources on vintage mobile homes so we have to turn to people that are just passionate about them and hope they can help.

      Best of luck!

  14. Hello I am looking for information about a trailer I purchased on property in Northern Wisconsin. We can’t seem to find the registration tag to gain a title. It’s quite remarkable for it’s age, which we approximate to be late 50’s early 60’s and I think someone may be interested. It has built-in dressers and closets in the 2 end bedrooms. Louver windows throughout. an angled kitchen, leaving room for the bathroom behind it. There is a large stretched “S” on the back and there is a silver plaque with the letters : MHMA TCA with the number 0045227 engraved into it. I would appreciate any information as to what company or what year this might be or if you know of any reference sites available those would help in my search as well. Thank you for your time. Sincerely, Pam

    1. Hi Pam,

      There really isn’t any particular database available for all the mobile homes built in the last century. There were hundreds of builders that manufactured thousands of different models so it’s near impossible to keep track of them all.

      With that said, the MHMA is Mobile Home Manufacturers Association and TCA is Trailer Coach Association (if I recall correctly). They began using mobile home in lieu of trailer in 1954.

      There were a few different builders that used the slant kitchen design; Greer and American Coach are probably the two best known. The slant kitchens came out in the late 1950’s/early 1960’s.

      Here’s an article I wrote about mobile home kitchens from 1955 to 1960: https://mobilehomeliving.org/mobile-home-kitchens-from-1955-to-1960/

      The article has a few images that may help you narrow down which home you have. Best of luck – let me know if you figure it out!