Favorite of: Samantha Martin, Archivist & Historian
As Airstream’s Archivist & Historian, I often say that it’s impossible for me to select just one favorite Airstream item. So, I have decided to break the rules and choose a collection: the series of Sounscriber discs and audio tapes that were generously donated by the WBCCI and on behalf of the Helen Byam Schwamborn Estate.
These discs were used by Wally Byam to record messages while traveling on the famous Airstream caravans that he could send to Airstream leadership, business associates, and loved ones back home. He would also receive replies via these same discs and tapes.
Wally’s messages would include caravan news, as well as any problems that he had encountered with travel trailers while on the trip. Wally was devoted to putting his product to the ultimate test, traveling across rugged terrains around the world, and using what he had learned from these tests to make improvements back at the factory.
The Soundscriber discs and audio tapes are special to me because we were able to have the recordings digitized and can now hear the voices of Wally, his wife Stella, Helen Byam Schwamborn, Art Costello, Andy Charles, and more. After researching, preserving, and sharing the history of these inspiring individuals for years, it is incredibly special for me to be able to hear their voices for the first time and it brings their stories of adventure to life in a new way.