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Early RV Patents: Part Two (1900-1909)

This is the second in a five-part blog on early RV patents. This blog covers the only known RV patent granted between 1900 and 1909.

(Patent numbers are in brackets - the full patents can be searched online by number or name)

The first decade of the twentieth century saw very few RV-related patents, for one simple reason: attention was focused elsewhere.

The arrival of the automobile was captivating engineers and consumers. There were thousands of patents issues for all manner of vehicles, engines, batteries, lights and machinery related to making automobiles faster, safer and more reliable. Little thought was given as to the leisure possibilities of this new form of transport until after the First World War, mainly because the first low-powered automobiles could carry (or tow) very little more than themselves and a driver.

5. Hardin Camping Wagon, USA 1909 (US941,195A)

Daniel Hardin of Hoyt, Kansas patented a camping wagon in 1909 which continued the use of Thomas Brown’s fold-out beds from 1894 and made extensive use of canvas stretched over a frame, but otherwise had no remarkable features. It was in effect a tent on wheels. Its only feature of note is that it was the only known RV-related patent between 1900 and 1909.

France was the leading nation globally in terms of automobile development in the early 1900s. This extended to some degree into touring and leisure vehicles, but the first French motorhomes were one- offs commissioned by wealthy businessmen who gave no thought to patenting their ideas. The British ‘gentlemen gypsies’ stuck largely to their horses. One or two motorhomes appeared in the UK in the early 1900s but were not patented.

You can download a free pdf of all fifty early RV Patents here.

Go to Part Three: Early RV Patents 1910-1919.

Andrew Woodmansey

December 2023


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