Airstream: Take a Sentimental Journey in This Vintage Ride

Picture yourself in a vintage Airstream.

Sleek, luxurious and stylish, the Airstream has been the gold standard for travel trailers ever since the first model hit the road in 1931. Not only did the brand become synonymous with cross country travel in the U.S. but it was also a familiar sight in popular tourist destinations around the world. The travel icon has now been immortalized in Patrick R. Foster's pictorial history, Airstream: America’s World Traveler.

Airstream: America's World Traveler

Airstream: America's World Traveler

If you are a fan of the Airstream travel trailer, you will enjoy reading the illustrated history of the vehicle in Airstream: Amerca's World Traveler by Patrick R. Foster.

Photo by: Quarto Knows, www.quartoknows.com

Quarto Knows, www.quartoknows.com

The mastermind behind the Airstream was Wally Byam, a native of Baker City, Oregon who fell in love with camping and outdoor living at an early age. When travel trailers began to gain popularity in the 1920s, Byam envisioned his own idealized version and built it in his backyard in 1929. At the time, the Covered Wagon trailer, mass produced by Arthur Sherman, was the leader in the market but as soon as Byam began manufacturing his version in 1931, Airstream became increasingly popular with travelers, even in the midst of the Great Depression.

Airstream Travel Trailer 

Airstream Travel Trailer 

Wally Byam, founder of the Airstream, created the first model in 1929 and the luxury travel trailer will be celebrating its 75th anniversary in 2017.

Photo by: Airstream, Inc.

Airstream, Inc.

Airstream models were built for comfort and longevity. Many Airstreams that were manufactured in the Thirties are still on the road today. The Torpedo Car Cruiser was the first factory model created by Airstream and was followed by the Silver Bullet and the Silver Cloud. These early models were designed from wood, glass and masonite but with the Airstream Clipper, Byam introduced the first trailer to be made of aluminum alloy.

Airstream Trailers

Airstream Trailers

In this promotional shot, Wally Byam, founder of Airstream, demonstrates the versatility of his product as well as a sense of humor.

Photo by: Airstream, Inc.

Airstream, Inc.

Constantly refining and improving upon each new model, the Airstream line was well insulated, featured comfortable living quarters inside and was constructed for the lightest possible weight. Byron’s marketing skills were original, intuitive and often humorous as you can see from the above advertisement which envisions the trailers as traveling rooms for specific purposes.

Sveti Stefan, Montenegro

Sveti Stefan, Montenegro

A traveler with her Airstream observes Sveti Stefan, an island connected by causeway to the mainland in Montenegro on the Baltic Peninsula in Europe.

Photo by: Airstream, Inc.

Airstream, Inc.

During World War II when aluminum became indispensable for military uses, Airstream had to cut back its production but the travel trailer soon recovered its lost momentum beginning in 1947, culminating in the brand’s peak during the years 1960-1973.

Gold Airstream Trailer

Gold Airstream Trailer

During the late fifties, Airstream founder Wally Byam came up with the idea of brightly colored Airstream models not unlike the flashy, colorful car models of its era. This gold anodized version represents a short-lived production phase for the company.

Photo by: Airstream, Inc.

Airstream, Inc.

Byam was always innovating and creating new versions of his original tear-drop design such as a special gold anodized trailer (pictured above) which mirrored the popularity of brightly colored automobiles in the 1950s.

Airstream Travelers on Skis

Airstream Travelers on Skis

With its superior insulation and state-of-the-art heating system, the Airstream is an ideal choice for a winter camping trip and ski vacation.

Photo by: Airstream, Inc.

Airstream, Inc.

The Airstream models were perfect for long distance trips with the entire family and could travel almost anywhere and in any kind of weather: the beach, the mountains, just about any place where there was a road.

Dining Inside an Airstream

Dining Inside an Airstream

A typical interior scene of an Airstream in the mid-sixties which offers comfortable family dining and a full kitchen.

Photo by: Airstream, Inc.

Airstream, Inc.

Beginning in the mid-Seventies, Airstream began to suffer a decrease in popularity but the company has bounced back from the recession years and is enjoying a major revival today. Airstream: America’s World Traveler is a wonderful pictorial tribute to the brand and creator Wally Byam. Even if you don’t own an Airstream, you can enjoy a vicarious cross country journey through the pages of this book.

A Florida Airstream Vacation

A Florida Airstream Vacation

Beach lovers can pick up and go to Florida anytime they want when they own the Rolls-Royce of travel trailers known as Airstream.

Photo by: Airstream, Inc.

Airstream, Inc.

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