In 1940, a streamlined
Cherokee red house car owned by a well-known wax manufacturer was
featured at the New York World's Fair. In 1964, Ken Kesey and his
Merry Pranksters inaugurated the hippie movement in a psychedelic
bus named Furthur. In 1992, Winnebago Industries rolled out its two
hundred and fifty thousandth motor home, confirming that houses on
wheels had evolved far beyond the fads and experiments of earlier
decades. Throughout the twentieth century, motor homes embodied not
only Americans' ingenuity, individualism, and self-reliance, but also
their quest to merge the comforts of home and the freedom of the open
than fifty years of individual and industrial tinkering, Roger B.
White shows how the technological innovations and cultural ideas of
each era influenced motor-home design and popular use. Drawing on
contemporary descriptions and interviews with motorists and manufacturers,
he documents the wooden house cars of the late 1910s and early 1920s,
the streamlined metal vehicles of the late 1940s, and a variety of
converted trailers and vans that emerged from the booming vacation
market of the 1950s and 1960s.
of wanderlust and family togetherness symbolized by the house on wheels
has continued to exert profound appeal. Tracing the motor home's development
from home made conversions to mass-produced recreation vehicles, Home
on the Roadtakes a lively look at this little-known aspect of America's
love affair with the automobile.