The Airstream Recreational Vehicle is the iconic symbol of a certain kind of uniquely American patriotism. First presented to the public in the 1920s and 30s, these oversized trailers were instantly recognizable for their rounded (“aerodynamic”) aluminum bodies. The designer, Hawley Bowlus, had been the construction chief on Charles Lindbergh’s plane, “The Spirit of St. Louis.” Just barely surviving the Great Depression and WWII years, it was during the 1950s redefinition of what it meant to be an American that the “Airstreamers” hit their stride.
America in an enormous country compared to the relatively tiny nations of Europe and elsewhere from whence Americans’ parents came. And some Americans are bound and determined, be it by right or duty, to visit every one of the 50 United States, 49 of them accessible by our marvelous (then-new) interstate highway system. Booking hotel and plane tickets wasn’t feasible — but simply driving and parking in state after state solves a lot of problems. Except a really big American problem: I need to watch TV each night. I need to sleep in my own bed. In America, we solve problems. The Airstream RV was (and still is!) the answer.
We travel not to escape life, but for life not to escape us.”
The world is a book, and those who do not travel read only one page.”
Oh the places you’ll go.”
People don’t take trips, trips take people.”