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  • Sarah Tucker

The History of Teardrops: In the Magazines

Editor's note: This is the second installment of a series on the history of teardrops. The first article on Bill Worman can be read here.

Having been raised by a father in the newspaper world and now myself being in the print industry; old magazines have always been an area of fascination for me. In the late '30's and early 40's when teardrops were in their infancy stage a few magazines ran some now infamous articles.

Building a Teardrop Sleeper Trailer

by CM George

In the December 1936 issue of Mechanics and Handicrafts, this article ran and seems to be the oldest known written artifact about teardrop trailers. It includes very little on the background of the units but does have step by step instructions for building one. I personally loved the first photo of the movie star entering her trailer. The author posted a material list and cost analysis at the end of the article that will make anyone building in today's society smile...or maybe grimace. And thus...the birth of the DIY teardrop trailer plans.


In the March/April 1939 issue of Popular HomeCraft magazine, a story by Hi Sibley ran entitled "Honeymoon House Trailer."

(Click on gallery for larger pics)

This article features a teardrop designed and built by Louis Rogers of Pasadena, CA for his wedding trip. The article's subhead "Built with Dimes, Total Cost $60" was no play-on words. Rogers literally saved every dime he received when purchasing something and eventually used those dimes to build his unit.

The story also ran with detailed sketches and instructions on how to create a teardrop just like Rogers'.


In 1940, Popular Mechanix ran an article

by Charles W. Brentner called Streamlined Midget Trailer.

It gives an even more detailed set of instructions for a larger teardrop style trailer. Popular Mechanix must have been a larger publication because with this article came a teardrop boom! (Click on gallery for larger pics)


In 1947, Hi Sibley was at it again! With what has become the single most popular vintage story on teardrop trailers, Mechanix Illustrated ran "Teardrop for Two."

The subhead says, a streamlined home on wheels that's light and easily towed; has a double-berth and complete kitchenette.

Here is how the first page reads:

"Getting away from it all. doesn’t mean giving up the comforts of home, for with this compact camp trailer you bring them right along with you. As it's only a fraction of the size and weight of a full-grown trailer, you can take this 10-ft. tourer wherever a car will go. And when you reach some ideal spot beside a lake or stream, up goes the hood over the kitchenette and in a matter of minutes there's an appetizing meal cooking away on the pullout stove. Under the same hood, there's an icebox (for the big ones that didn't get away), a water tank, folding table, and cupboard space for a raft of food. After you've finished tucking away your share of it for dinner, you can open one of the doors and there’s a full-length mattress waiting for you when you turn in. And if you like fresh air when you sleep, just open the screened-in panels on the doors."


Are there more articles? Of course! But this was enough for today. Stay tuned for more history in the coming days! Do you have a great historical story to share about teardrops...share them with me and our readers! Email today!

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