Today, we continue on with our ABC’s of Airstream series, and when we came to the letter O, we knew we had to share about the great state of Ohio! Why Ohio, you ask? Ohio is the home to Airstream headquarters and the factory where each travel trailer is created! Read on to learn a bit more about the history of Airstream!
Wally Byam constructed the first Airstream trailer in 1929! What started out as a tent contraption built on a Model T chassis ended up as a teardrop-shaped permanent shelter, complete with a stove and ice chest. The towable home grabbed the attention of travelers, causing Wally to think it might be “a pretty good business to get into.”
In 1931, Byam opened a small trailer factory in Culver City, California, where he produced the first marketable Airstream trailer. In just twenty years, Airstream outgrew its original headquarters and expanded to the Midwest. After a summer of scouring Indiana, Illinois and Ohio for a suitable factory location, Byam settled on Jackson Center, Ohio, where the Airstream factory still stands today! With a classic small-town feel and strong industrial base, Jackson Center serves as the perfect hub for production of America’s most iconic mobile home. In 1952, the factory expanded by 150,000 square feet and became the official headquarters of Airstream, Inc.
Airstream celebrated several milestones in the 1950s. The decade represented a time of “Live Riveted” adventure, as Byam led the first international Airstream caravans. Eventually, Airstream entirely outgrew its factory in California. Airstream then purchased four acres in Jackson Center to accommodate the company’s growth. The massive plant produces America’s most recognizable travel trailers each and every day.
A strong Airstream heritage exists in Jackson Center. The city is a slice of Americana culture, reflecting Airstream’s classic, industrial design and its passion for exploration. We are so thankful for Ohio and the history that we have in Jackson Center! To learn more about our factory in Jackson Center and schedule factory tours, head on over to our website!