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What Year Was The First Manufactured Home Built In?

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Mary Frederick answered
The earliest date I could find is 1937 in Indianapolis, Indiana. Purdue University students from the Purdue Housing Research Department in collaboration with the Indiana State Planning Board, and the Works Progress Administration constructed a prefabricated house. The house cost $669.00 and had no hot water, a shower stall, no sink, the kitchen and living room were the same room. The house was heated by the heat of the cooking stove. There were two bedrooms.

Prefabricated housing improved over the next decade and company's such as Gunnison, National Homes Corp. and Danherst Corp. entered the business of pre-manufactured homes. These homes were built in factories and then transported to locations across the country. They were small, however they provided inexpensive housing for people who otherwise could not afford a home of their own.

The National Homes Corp. in Lafayette, IN was started by Jim and George Price after they bought a Gunnisson prefabricated home, in 1940. Eventually, this business spread and others followed them into the business of premanufacturing homes. During World War II military bases began purchasing these homes from all three companies, to provide on base housing for families of those in the Armed Forces.

In 1942, my father opened his business as a Building Contractor, running a lumber company and hardware store. In 1944 he purchased a Gunnisson home and his employees put the home together in the center of his lumber yard. The home eventually was taken down and moved to a permanent location in the area for local family. Premanufactured housing led to the manufacturer of what we now call mobile homes, we find across our country today.
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