Posts Tagged With: Elkhart Indiana

RV MUSEUM AND HALL OF FAME, ELKHART, INDIANA

The Elkhart RV Museum/Hall Of Fame, has a great history of recreation we can all relate to. With the automobile in their lives, people wanted to wander farther afield. Early efforts were just modified cars. This old Tin Lizzie had a unique telescoping design, a bureau pulled out on one side….

A “kitchen” on the other side, and you still had to find somewhere to sleep, maybe a tent, or under the vehicle if the weather was nice. But most early models were simply shelters in which to sleep and store your food stuffs.

Many of those early recreational vehicles were custom built affairs like the Tennessee Traveler above.

It was built like a house, with the wood stove, heavy plank floors and walls. It featured a built in ice chest, but check out the drivers seat.

This originally had a bench seat with no back. Imagine what a comfortable ride that must have been? The owners installed the above seats during a remodel.

Here was another drivers seat, resembling a club chair. It came as a $35.00 accessory. Entrepreneurs saw a need and the first professionally  manufactured units started as basic shelters for a trip, then more elaborate shelters with  heat, cooking, and light. Then water and  refrigeration was added. Then, toilets and showers until today, we have all the comforts of home in miniature.

One old time unit had a built-into-the-ceiling propane “lantern” that resembled a light fixture.
And, of course, all the comforts of home with radio, curtains, a fly swatter and a fan. Another had windows that rolled up and down like car windows.

Another interesting unit was built to fit into a standard garage.

Of course, you couldn’t stand up in it.

This little trailer put the cooking outside and the sleeping and storage inside. This is a sleek metal type of “teardrop” one of the most popular camping trailers ever made. I owned a tear drop for many years and wish I had never sold it. These little trailers were economical and fit the average family’s pocket book, plus you could haul them with a smaller, less powerful car.

This unit was a touring car not a true RV.  Mae West didn’t sleep in it. She was induced to come to the Hollywood studios by being driven back and forth from her home to the set with it. Probably the only unit known to have a back porch where she would sit outside and take fresh air while being driven to the set.

When we stepped out of the Hall, we saw this unique two story custom RV with a truck cab sitting in the parking lot.

After leaving the hall, we had dinner at the Liberty Cafe in Fort Wayne with friends Pat and Richard Whitfield. For more photos, click the link below:
http://picasaweb.google.com/1579penn/82510RVMuseum

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GROSSE ILE, MICHIGAN TO ELKHART, INDIANA

Moving west and a bit south, we struck out for Elkhart, Indiana, home of the RV Museum/Hall of Fame and a meeting with my Yooper friends, Pat and Richard Whitfield. They will tour the museum and explore a bit of the local area with us in their recreation vehicle.
If you are familiar with my blog, you may remember the Whitfields from Sept. 2009 blogs, when long lost friends came to visit in Murphys and went home with gold from gold country.

Looking back at our recent visit to the Ford Museum, they had a section on home furnishings and I collected several pictures of interesting chairs from long ago, like the  molded chair above. It  became popular in the early 1960’s and was nearly indestructible. Called a modular chair, it was molded of fiberglass. We used them in the kitchen and patio and they were reasonably comfortable. In the museum, this chair was displayed  along with its huge mold.

Soft and prettier than the molded chair, I always dreamed of having something this modern and sleek in my future house. I’ve seen several variations on this chair over the years and it no longer holds any appeal for me. Now, I’m only interested in pictures of them. The pictures are more fun, affordable and don’t take up much room.

This molded chair was actually flexible. You could lean back in it and the back support would move slightly. Again, it was used in the kitchen. They were convenient, lightweight and sturdy like those cookie cutter plastic lawn chairs we see everywhere today.

This little beauty, I’d like to own. Its sleek,strong;  its a work of art, and small enough to put in a corner somewhere.

Or, how about a corner chair like this one? Its an oldie and friends of my parents owned one of these. I found it uncomfortable.

In fact, most old time chairs were uncomfortable to sit in, including the fancy sofas and lounge chairs of the rich. Nothing matches the comfort of today’s furnishings with its foam cushioning, in my opinion.

This one doesn’t look comfortable and was probably meant to impress other hunters with its design.
I have an endless fascination with chairs so, needless to say, I enjoyed the chair collection at Henry Ford’s Museum. While I enjoyed the chairs, a fellow viewing the old farm equipment was nostalgically reminiscing over various hard working farm machines.  I can only shake my head. To each his own.
On our way to Elkhart, we stopped, did some shopping, and rested at this lovely little roadside park.

Looking forward to the RV Museum and Hall of Fame.

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