The manufactured homes of today are a direct descendant of the automobile era. The pulling power of a large engine made them possible. Before that our wheeled, moveable homes were limited to what a couple of strong animals could pull.
When mass production of affordable cars with high towing capacity became the way of life, our movable homes became bigger and better.
Goodyear Tire and Rubber Company got their start making tires but they also ventured into other venues such as manufacturing mobile homes.
After the soldiers came home from WWII there was a huge need for housing and many companies stepped up to provide those houses. Goodyear came out with their Wingfoot Home.
The blog Instant House explains, “The company’s intention was to sell a completely outfitted home (including built-in furniture) for less than $2,000. The idea was that unlike other prefabricated or mass-produced housing, the house would be built COMPLETELY in the factory. Most fabricators were building components that were then assembled. Wingfoot shipped their homes COMPLETE — the forerunner of today’s mobile homes.
“Shipping a completed house presents a unique problem–it couldn’t be more than 8 feet wide! Today’s “Oversize Load” tractor trailers make wider loads possible, but they are quite expensive. Wingfoot decided to avoid this altogether by engineering their house to be 8 feet wide at the time of shipping. The bedroom sections of the house pulled out “like drawers” once the house was at the site. The final house measures 26 feet long and 15 feet wide at its widest point.
Wingfoot homes were popular out west where it was difficult to get labor and where building codes were less strict. Wingfoot homes are not designed to go over foundations. I cannot find any record of how many Wingfoots were produced or shipped, though the internet tells me there are enclaves of them in Arizona and southern California.
All photos and copy are the property of The Instant House Blog. A great blog about instant houses!
11 thoughts on “Vintage Views: Wingfoot Homes”
I lived in a Wingfoot trailer in 1960 in Phoenix, AZ on the site of my parents’ restaurant across from the old Motorola plant on East McDowell Rd. It certainly met all our needs! Glad to see them remembered. I wish I had photos to share
I lived in a wingfoot when I was a little girl!!!! My dad was an engineer working for Department of Reclamation, desigining irrigation systems in Montana and the Dakotas after WWII. As he finished one job, we moved on to the next, so we had the stability of our wingfoot home. I am so refreshed as I read this article and see the pictures! Wow. History, right there. We had only one bedroom, I do remember that. Granny slept on the sofa in the dining/living area, and my sister and I slept on shelves in the closet. Pretty sure we played outside a lot! Thank you for this article!!!
Oh wow! Thank you so much for sharing! Wingfoot’s were pretty awesome and memories are even more so. Thank you!
I am writing a book about the history of the Shadehill Community and Shadehill Dam. I have found that there were Wingfoot home brought to Lemmon South Dakota for the Government and Construction workers in 1948. Where in SD did you live?
I’d love to see them too and know where about they area. They were pretty smart for making them 8 feet.
I have 9 wingfoot homes from 1947 that I rent out. Mike
Hi Mike! Could you please share some photos? I would love to see them! My email is firstname.lastname@example.org
Thanks so much for commenting! I hope to hear from you again!
Thank you so much for the kind words! I appreciate you so much. I do
love the history behind our homes and love to share them as I find
them. I certainly can't take credit, I just scour the
Hi I just happened to look up this site and found that I have been renting these wingfoots for almost 30 years. I shut them down last year after growing weary of trying to keep them up. Very cool to see more of the history. I have a plack that they put in everyone of them.
HI Nic! That’s awesome! You had some pretty special homes with great history. I’d love to see some photos.
I haven't seen a Wingfoot, but I must say that you find the most interesting "trailer" information to write about! I love reading your storys about the vintage trailers!
We moved out of our mobile after 22 years. It was a great place to raise the kids and live a good life at a reasonable expense. We are now in a cozy 100 year old farmhouse, and I love it, but I still stop by your blog to check out the interesting mobile home remodels and articles! Keep up the good work!