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Saturday, May 12, 2007

What was the first RV?

Ever wonder when the first RV appeared? Sure, we've all seen those old black and white photos of converted Model Ts which popped out into a tent with beds. Who can forget also the early Winebagos with their boxy appearance. I won't post a photo, it may make you cringe.

The first RV was likely made from an old redwood tree back in 1914 by an enterprising entertainer and naturalist, Charles Kellogg. He spent many months on the road, singing bird songs, promoting redwood conservation, and drove across the country four times. His log RV could only travel 5 miles per hour.. Yes, I know. Not whistle, sang them! He would open his mouth when he produced the sounds, and had unique vocal cords which allowed him to belt out quite an ingredible range. Listen to vintage 1916 recordings of him in "The Nightingale Song" and the "Mocking Bird".

If you happen to be in the redwood forest area of Northern California, be sure to stop in at the Visitor Center at Weott, California to see this interesting piece of RV history.

RVing has long held a fascination, in seeing the outdoors and new places. My wife and I always enjoy seeing the old 1954 movie where Lucille Ball and Desi Arnaz take to the road for their honeymoon with a 32 foot trailer. The most memorable for me is when they attempt to drive it along a narrow one lane mountain road near Mount Whitney, with precarious views along the edge (I have been there...I remember a certain road in British Columbia...). What is your favorite scene?

Here is a snippet of dialogue:
Tacy: You didn't let me finish. I was going to say 'turn right here left'.
Nicholas Collini: Turn right here left? Have you any conception how much room it takes to turn this thing around? We may have to go on for miles!

Posted by Carl Burnham at 10:52 AM
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