Mobile Homes and How They Came To Be
There are a few famous sayings that are common and well-known. “Home is where the heart is” and “home is where you lay your head.” Though, axioms aside, a home is defined as a place where one lives permanently. The reason these sayings can be vague in this regard, is that the location of a home doesn’t have to be permanent. Mobile homes have been around for ages, Native Americans used Teepees, which they could break down, and load onto sleds for transport. Their home would be with them regardless of where they had to move. It is obviously much easier to bring these along if possible rather than spend the time to gather the resources and expend the energy to build a new one.
Though, homes in this fashion are not truly mobile beyond the fact that they can be moved. You could dissect a modern-day home and move it piece by piece, which has the same result, but would be a very large undertaking. A true mobile home is one that can be moved with little effort, and little has to be done to prepare them for transport. One of the more famous types, or infamous depending on whom you speak with, of mobile homes is that of Genghis Khan. He ruled his empire entirely from the comforts of his mobile home, an Ox driven Yurt. Now many Mongolians had portable yurts, but few had yurts that were truly mobile, and did not have to be taken down or reconstructed.
A yurt is the traditional dwelling of the nomadic people in Mongolia. It resembles a tent and is structurally made sound by the use of a wooden frame and normally covered by wool felt. There is a stove that is located in the middle of the yurt with the chimney protruding from the center of the roof. The walls inside can be lined with various wools and furs for insulation. This is interesting to note because many emperors, both before and after his time, left their homes behind while on military campaigns. It is also worth noting that few had conquered as much land and as many people as he had. The whole time, he never left his home. This must be a very comforting fact in times of war. A fact that very few would be able to understand, as most did not take their homes with them when venturing into foreign lands.
A Vardo is a Romani wagon, which was heavily used by British Romani peoples, otherwise known as gypsies. Its use was made popular by circus troupes, as they would frequently have to move around from town to town. Before the creation of the Vardo, the Romani would use regular wagons and create makeshift roofs from bent tree branches and tarps. Though, as the circuses became popular, and the Romani had more disposable income, their mobile homes began to reflect more of their culture.
The Vardo differs from a regular wagon in a few ways. One is that they are regarded as a high cultural point for artistic expression and a masterpiece of woodcraft. They are elaborately designed, with intricate and beautifully crafted décor that is found throughout. There are various types of Vardos, such as Brush Wagon which was used to carry merchandise for merchants, Reading Wagons which were the epitomes of stylish Romani design, and Ledge Wagons which were larger and more spacious. As would be assumed, there was a specific Vardo for any purpose whether that would be a living quarter, transport vehicle, or store front.
What the Vardo was for circus troupes in Britain, Rail-car homes were for traveling circus performers in the United States. Rail-car homes are exactly as the name would imply, homes that can move along railways. Now circus performers were not the only ones who owned these. But as they were quite expensive, not many people found it worthwhile to own them, as they would not be traveling all that frequently. In the early 1900s, railways were being built all across America in an attempt to unify the country. Before the rail race began, if you intended to travel from say New York to California, the trip would take ages, and the travelers would travel in wagons similar to the Romani. But the expanse of America is significantly larger than Britain, even lengthwise. So once rails were being laid, there is no wonder that rail-car homes were being both produced and purchased.
In the end, mobile homes should not have the negative connotation that they usually do. Yes, they are associated with gypsies and carnie folk. But is that even a bad thing? Nowadays, travel trailers are becoming quite popular. People would rather travel with their homes than spend the money to stay in a hotel. You can cook, clean, and relax in something familiar. There are also greater liberties that can be taken when your home is attached to your vehicle. All in all, I believe there needs to be a paradigm shift in our thought of mobile homes. If it was good enough for Genghis Khan…. Why then am I staying in a Motel Six?
The author of this article was Damien S. Wilhelmi, a golden tonged SEO mastermind and wily word wizard. I am writing on behalf of AAMCO Colorado.
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