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The Frosch Family – Farming Adventurers

The Airstream caravan is about adventure. It’s about experiencing life to its fullest. And it’s about family. This photo was taken during the 1959 Airstream Wally Byam Caravan. This is Al Frosch, and he’s hanging up the family laundry. However, the real story begins months before the Caravan begins. One evening, Al came literally running into his home and announces to his wife, “Mildred, we are going to Africa!” He had seen a Caravan that traveled through Mexico and Central America. The group, of course, was the Airstream Caravan, led by Wally Byam. So Al has decided their family will

Wally and His Burros, Pike and Jenny

The stars twinkled in the evening sky as a young Wally Byam rolled out his sleeping gear for the night. It had been a warm day, the sheep had settled in and he was satisfied that as adolescent, this met the expectations that his grandfather James Biswell had entrusted to him. Throughout Wally’s life, this love in being close to nature never diminished. Camping is probably in part, a segment for the master plan, leading to the spark igniting Wally’s Airstream. He provided the Airstream for those wanting to travel and to leave the mundane behind. For himself, it was

Wally and the Curtis Wright Trailer – His Post-WWII Legacy

Sometimes the art of business is difficult to explain. Why did Wally Byam design and work for Curtis Wright at the end of WWII? Why didn’t he start up Airstream? Why did Wally ever go back into manufacturing trailers? When the war began, essential materials were diverted from non-strategic industries into the war effort. Airstream, along with hundreds of other manufacturers, shut their doors until war’s end. Wally went to work for Lockheed in Burbank. Towards the end of the war Wally compiled a very interesting notebook. On the pages, he entered everything required to open an Outdoor Camping Store

Wally’s Other Vehicle

Wally Byam traveled with two wheels. His Solex bike, with a small motor on the front wheel, carried him on the 1956 European Caravan. You might see him on a Caravan with a collapsible bicycle or a two wheeled miniature motorized scooter. On the African Caravan, he mounted a Vespa motor scooter above the front bumper. Why this fascination with two wheeled transportation? At a prearranged time Wally had meetings to discuss the trip with the Caravanners, and he went around the Airstreams with his bull horn calling, hurry, hurry, hurry — meeting time! He repeated this as many times as

Caravan America and the Birth of the Wally Byam Foundation

A Merry Christmas, Season’s Greetings, and a Happy and Prosperous New Year. What is Caravan America? When Wally Byam became ill, his wife Stella Byam and the Airstream Executives discussed how to honor Wally after his passing. They came up with the Wally Byam Foundation (1961–1977). “PURPOSES…to help achieve a greater knowledge of the daily life and cultures and of the history and aspirations of peoples in our own county in all the Americas, and around the world – and thus to enhance international understanding and goodwill… to further the concept of travel by trailer as a unique and an

More from Morocco: Why Wally Loved Africa

Did the dream of Africa enchant Wally Byam? As a youth did he read Tarzan of the Apes by Edgar Rice Burroughs or writings by Dr. David Livingstone and Henry M. Stanley? Where Wally’s African aspirations came from were known only to him. Maybe it was the National Geographic Magazine from February 1925 that dedicated an entire issue to the following article: “Cairo to Cape Town, Overland,” a journey the length of Africa by a man and his wife. In the early 1950’s, Marius Hansen, a friend, employee and neighbor, had traveled across North Africa. He tales of intriguethat fascinated Wally

A Journey Through Africa: the 1959 Caravan

It is now 2013. Today, how do we envision Africa? For many of us, it’s a flight into Nairobi and being met at the airport with a hotel bus that whisks us away for an adventure on the Serengeti Plains. Turn the clock back to 1959. 54 years ago, Wally Byam, master of Airstream travel, took a Caravan of 41 Airstream families to Africa. They were to experience a singular historic trip beginning in Cape Town, Union of South Africa and ending in Cairo, Egypt. By the time they’d left Alexandria, Egypt to head to Beirut, Lebanon, they had been

Wally’s Best Friend, Chica

It was 1951, and the Airstream Wally Byam Caravan was traveling to Mexico and Central America. The Glassey brothers, friends of Wally assisting him on the Caravan, were driving along the highway in Mexico. They saw a hungry, frightened, lost puppy. They stopped and picked the puppy up. The young dog was a beautiful Irish Setter. Wally rescued the dog, whom he named Chica, and with food and love, Chica and Wally had that friendship that is so endearing and everlasting between man and dog. I remember as a youngster visiting Wally and his first wife Marion at their home

Wally’s Adventures: the 1954 Calgary Stampede Parade

After several trips south of the border to Mexico and Central America, Wally Byam decided it was time to go north of the border to Canada. The summer of 1954 saw the Airstream Wally Byam Western Canadian Caravan embark on a quest north. The Calgary Stampede was on the schedule for Caravanners. This world renowned event is one of many “treats” for the group. The Calgary Stampede is a ten-day event branded as “The Greatest Outdoor Show on Earth.” It traces its roots all the way back to the late 1800s. Everybody loves a parade, and Wally was no exception. As

The First Wally Byam Caravan to Eastern Canada

Wow! What a year! In 1955, we were having Airstream’s first Wally Byam Caravan to Eastern Canada. Wally and Stella Byam left for Europe from Montreal, Canada to scout and make preliminary preparations for the 1956 Caravan to Europe.  Helen Byam Schwamborn joined Airstream to organize and lead Caravans, as well as to organize and manage the Wally Byam Caravan Club, newly formed by Airstream owners during the Eastern Canadian Caravan. This was one special year moving Airstream forward. Wally Byam always enjoyed and celebrated his birthday on the Fourth of July, for this was a very special day, and