History of Manufactured Homes
A mobile house is a prefabricated building constructed in a factory and then moved to a location through a permanently connected chassis (either by being towed or on a trailer). Used as permanent residences or for vacation and temporary housing, they are often left in one location permanently or semi-permanently.
Mobile houses and travel trailers both originated in the same era. Today, the two are very different in size and amenities, with travel trailers serving mainly as temporary or holiday residences. Behind the aesthetic work used to conceal the foundation during installation are sturdy trailer frames, axles, wheels, and tow-hitches. First, let’s dive into the history of manufactured homes.
The Very First Mobile Homes
The first instances of mobile houses date back to the 1500s, when roving bands of gypsies traveled in their horse-drawn portable dwellings.
The first prefabricated house was transported from London to Cape Ann, Massachusetts, in 1764. By the early 1900s, the English were constructing bespoke vans, while one American invented a fifth-wheel hitch to connect his roadster to a trip wagon.
The first mobile houses constructed in America were in the 1870s. These were mobile beachfront homes built in North Carolina’s Outer Banks area and were transported by horse teams.
Assembly line manufacturing started in New York in 1926; nevertheless, the majority of mobile houses were used for vacations. As a result, the first versions lacked inside plumbing.
Modern Manufactured Homes
The modern concept of mobile houses began in 1926 with automobile-pulled trailers, dubbed “Trailer Coaches.” These were created to serve as a home away from home for campers. After World War II, the trailers developed into “mobile houses.” Veterans returned home in need of homes and discovered a housing shortage. Mobile houses offered affordable and rapidly constructed housing for soldiers and their families (the start of the baby boom), and their mobility enabled families to move to employment.
Americans started to expect more from prefabricated (mobile) houses as the 1960s proceeded. They began to want bigger houses with more comforts, such as the new and sophisticated appliances that became available to contemporary customers. This increased demand resulted in developing a new kind of trailer house known as the manufactured home.
Manufactured houses were bigger and more beautiful than their predecessors and catered to the requirements of young homeowners just starting out in life. They paved the way for even single men and women to buy a house.
Congress enacted the National Manufactured Housing Construction and Safety Act in June 1976. This started a trend established by HUD that ensured that all houses constructed afterward would adhere to stringent national standards currently enforced. Additionally, this marked the demise of the phrases “trailer house,” “trailer coaches,” and “trailer.”