Post by Don Ricardo on Aug 25, 2015 13:40:03 GMT 10
I just worked out how to create a link to a photo on a Facebook page so that the photo displays here! Yeah, I know - you all figured out how to do that ages ago...
Anyway, the following photo was posted on the Vintage Caravans Facebook page (not ours, the other one) by Caren Crawfordhere:
According to Caren's post, the photo is of a motor caravan owned by her grandparents and was taken in the 1940's. Note the writing above the windscreen: 'Land Yacht' on either side, and 'Olsen & Goodchap' in the middle. Olsen & Goodchap Pty Ltd was a Queensland company, which was registered in 1924 and was based in Ipswich Road, Woolloongabba. The business originally began in 1917 and was a furniture store, so maybe the truck was a furniture van pressed into service for the annual holiday - although it would be unlikely to be labelled as the Land Yacht if that was the case, so maybe it was a purpose built caravan?
Does anyone know what the vehicle is? That might help indicate when the 'Land Yacht' was built. I'm guessing the 30's.
Post by Don Ricardo on Aug 26, 2015 19:13:52 GMT 10
A bit more interesting info has emerged about the Olsen & Goodchap 'Land Yacht' shown in the post immediately above.
It turns out that the Goodchaps were Caren Crawford's grandparents (Caren posted the photo on Facebook). The 'Land Yacht' was used by both the Goodchaps and Olsens for their holidays.
It also turns out that the 'Land Yacht' was no furniture van pressed into service for holiday accommodation. It was a purpose built motorhome that received a good bit of publicity in the press when it was built in 1929. We know this thanks to Trove.
The first article about the 'Land Yacht' was published in the Brisbane Daily Standard on Monday, 12 August 1929 (page 5), and tells us that the vehicle had been on display at the South Brisbane Carnival at the Cricket Ground:
The 'Land Yacht' was built on a Reo speed chassis, and was very well fitted out with four berths. One of the features that is particularly interesting is that a water tank was fitted in the roof of the van, part of the reason was for the water to provide insulation for the interior (see South Coast Bulletin article below). I would have thought that the water sloshing around in the half empty tank above your head when you were on the road might have been a bit unnerving, but certainly a creative idea!
The article comments that: "The whole of the "yacht" has been solely designed and constructed by Messrs Olsen and Goodchap...". This suggests that the van may have been built using Olsen and Goodchap's furniture and cabinet making skills. The final paragraph states that the vehicle "...will be hired out to approved tourists", which is possibly why it was on show at the carnival.
The next article was published in the Brisbane Telegraph on Tuesday, 20 August 1929 (page 11), and reveals more detail about the 'Land Yacht's' construction, including that it was "...designed and built within five weeks. Two men worked night and day to have it finished in time for exhibition purposes at the carnival, and the result is a credit to their workmanship."
Note that: "For ventilation and visibility there are sliding sashes and a large plate-glass door". But there's more! Just in case the water tank in the roof was not enough, "...a light speed-boat is to be carried on the top"!
The final article published in the Southport South Coast Bulletin on Friday, 6 February 1931 (page 10), tells us that the Olsens had been camped on the main beach front at Southport (presumably), and their motor caravan was still eliciting quite a lot of interest from those who saw it.
Post by Don Ricardo on Feb 5, 2016 19:55:20 GMT 10
A little while ago, a cousin sent me a couple of articles from the Geelong Advertiser relating to our family that included some photos which were taken in Geelong in the 1920's. One of the photos was of a rather fascinating caravan photographed camped at Eastern Park. I'm sad to say that the caravan had nothing to do with our family!
(Source: Geelong Advertiser, Monday, 24 August 2015, page 33)
The suggestion in the newspaper is that the tarp over the car may indicate that someone was sleeping in the car, as well as in the van itself.
I think this must be amongst the earliest Australian full-size 'trailer caravans' we've seen, as opposed to the 'motor caravans' and camper-trailer style caravans that were more common in Australia in the 20's. This van is quite English in style, which marks it out as different from the full-size caravans that began to be developed here in the late 20's and early 30's. If I'm not mistaken, the door can be seen at the rear of the van, as was the case with the early Eccles caravans in England.
The rig belonged to a Mr Bowman of Dunedoo, and I imagine would have been pretty advanced for its time. We've seen quite a few 'motor caravans' from the 1920's, but I don't recall seeing a caravan semi from that era before. They were much more common immediately after World War II.