“Most men appear never to have considered what a house is, and are actually though needlessly poor all their lives because they think that they must have such a one as their neighbors have.” – Henry David Thoreau.
I have been carrying around the article attached below since I first read it in 1984, because it still has a lot of relevant information. Then and once again more recently, I asked for permission to copy and/or reprint this insightful report, which was given. I handed out hundreds of copies over the years; now, in the online age, the smart thing to do is have it published on ManufacturedHomeLivingNews, so everyone can enjoy it and learn from Allen Wallis’ fine work in Natural History with his article, Drawn Quarters.
Even though it was written 30 years ago, it’s still relevant. The acceptance of manufactured housing by the general population has grown, but there is work to be done with governmental and regulatory agencies.
The use of proper terminology is still an issue today, something some professionals, home owners and associations attempt to address, but which the industry at large should deal with better. Until then, Allen Wallis’ attached article correctly identifies the following four historic periods and their proper names:
- 1928-1940, travel trailer;
- 1941-1954, house trailer;
- 1954-1976, mobile home;
- June 15, 1976 to present, manufactured housing.
The article credits Elmer Frey, President of Rollohome in 1954, who wrote in Trailer Dealer Magazine, “ I believe that products should be called exactly what they are…if you saw a truck and semitrailer loaded with a bulldozer, would you say, “There goes a trailer?” No, you would say, “Look at that bulldozer.” By the same token, when you see a man towing his home, why do you call it a trailer? Why not say, “There goes a man towing his home!”
The article also stresses a fact that some others studies have since confirmed. Namely, that there is an equal or often greater sense of community in a manufactured home community than that of traditional site-built subdivisions.
So many of the ‘myths’ about factory built homes are just that, outdated realities or pure myth.
I would say Allen Wallis is a friend of manufactured housing…wonder what he’s up to these days? His article is attached as a download:
Ken Haynes, Jr. worked in manufactured housing in finance, manufacturing and retail sectors of the industry, and was a 23 year Board member and past President of the New Mexico Manufactured Housing Association (NMMHA). Email firstname.lastname@example.org.
(Image/Poster credit: ManufacturedHomeLivingNews)