Instant House

A blog tribute to the manufactured, mass-produced, modular and kit homes that grace the American landscape.

Friday, September 9, 2011

Wingfoot Homes

Picture of the Wingfoot Home from Popular Science
Magazine--August, 1946 issue.
When is a trailer not a trailer?
Answer:  when it's a Wingfoot House!  Wingfoot Homes was the brainchild of the Goodyear Tire and Rubber Company.  Apparently, selling tires wasn't enough, and the world's best known tire company tried to cash in on the low-cost post WWII housing boom.  The company's intention was to sell a completely outfitted home (including built-in furniture) for less than $2,000.  The idea was that unlike other prefabricated or mass produced housing, the house would be built COMPLETELY in the factory.  Most prefabricators were building components that were then assembled.  Wingfoot shipped their homes COMPLETE--the forerunner of today's mobile homes.


Two Wingfoots in transit
Getting It There  
If you've read my previous posts (because you're either my friend or you take pity on me...or both), then you know that shipping is the biggest problem most housing prefabricators faced.  Shipping a completed house presents a unique problem--it couldn't be more than 8 feet wide!  Today's "Oversize Load" tractor trailers make wider loads possible, but they are quite expensive.  Wingfoot decided to avoid this altogether by engineering their house to be 8 feet wide at the time of shipping.  The bedroom sections of the house pulled out "like drawers" once the house was at the site.  The final house measures 26 feet long and 15 feet wide at its widest point.  See below for plans.

Wingfoots Today
Wingfoot homes were popular out west where it was difficult to get labor and where building codes were less strict--Wingfoot homes are not designed to go over foundations.  I cannot find any record of how many Wingfoots were produced or shipped, though the internet tells me there are enclaves of them in Arizona and southern California.

Picture and floorpan of a Wingfoot Home.  Notice the bedroom "pull-outs"
Assembly of a Wingfoot home. 



Three interior views of the Wingfoot home.  Extremely..."efficient" living required!



2 comments:

  1. Thanks for posting this - my grandparents lived in a Wingfoot home after the war and I haven't been able to find much information. If you're interested, here's a picture with some of the homes in the background: https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=10151376142163073&set=a.10151376141828073.1073741825.500483072&type=3&src=https%3A%2F%2Fsphotos-b.xx.fbcdn.net%2Fhphotos-ash4%2F406327_10151376142163073_1934533826_n.jpg&size=960%2C553

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