Fantastic stuff! The photo collection we have on Jennisons is pretty extensive to start with but it blows me away how more and more pics just keep on turning up, let alone more than 50 photos in one go!!!!!!! Thanks very much for sharing them with us by posting them on this thread jenno
Post by pidgeoncoop on Nov 19, 2015 23:07:58 GMT 10
Cobber, from the patent documents Jennison has posted I got the impression that these vans started in 1935, maybe 1936. Dad set out on his 6 month caravan journey in March 1937. (You can read his journal on my website at wepidgeon.com/pidgeonpost/?cat=59 - need to scroll down about three pages to get to the beginning) I imagine that he bought the van in 1936 in preparation for the trip but have not found any reference to this in his archives.
Thanks everyone for the kind words - it's great to see this stuff is appreciated.
Last Edit: Aug 10, 2017 0:02:06 GMT 10 by Don Ricardo: Turned the website link into a hyperlink for easier access
Going back to that Jennison pop top lookalike I posted at the end of page one on this thread, I have been asked if there are any interior photos of it, so I took some.
This is the wardrobe and bench along the off side wall opposite the door.
The bench has room underneath for stuff and has the sink on top (you did notice the faucet didn't you ? )
To the right of the doorway is a cupboard.
With a couple of draws.
The van is covered with Masonite, this is looking toward the rear of the van
And this is towards the front
You will notice the seat across the front, the back of which lifts up to become a bunk for a small child ( or two ). The woman who has fond memories of this van when she was a small child has told me her parents and three children spent many wonderful holidays in this van. The parents bed is across the rear of the van.
That's it....... I tend to doubt that THE Mr. Jennison would build something this rough even as a prototype, but on the other hand why would anybody else bother to build a Jennison lookalike ?
Post by Don Ricardo on Oct 24, 2020 12:01:58 GMT 10
Stimulated by Oldboats post about his uncle Henry Young's connection with John Jennison through Nomad caravans here, I thought I'd try and post some of information relating to Jennison and Nomad.
One of the great things about John Jennison is that, unlike many other people in the caravan industry in the 1930's, he included photos of his caravans in his advertisements. The following adverts for Jennison 'Road Cruiser' and 'Caravan Cruiser' caravans published from 1936 to 1939 demonstrate what I think was the quite amazing development in his caravan designs in a relatively short three or four year period.
This photograph of the Jennison Road Cruiser with the telescopic roof was used to illustrate an article on caravanning published in the Sydney Daily Telegraph on Friday, 2 December 1936 (page 15). The full article can be found here.
This model is the innovative 'pop-top' caravan that Jennison began developing in Adelaide in 1934 and then began manufacturing in Sydney. It was this model that Jennison was still advertising in the Sydney Truth on Sunday, 9 May 1937 (page 10), but note that it is now called the 'Supreme "Jennison" Caravan Cruiser' rather than the 'Road Cruiser':
However, by November 1937 Jennison was offering a rather different full-height caravan with a rigid roof and lantern roof. This advert was published in the Daily Telegraph on Friday, 19 November 1937 (page 20):
A few things to note from this advert. First, although the rigid roof 'Supreme Jennison Caravan Cruiser' pictured in the advert was a 15 ft model, it was also available in 10 ft, 12 ft and 18 ft sizes, and the range provided 2, 3, 4 and 6 berth vans. Second, the advert also refers to the telescopic roof Jennison which was still available. And third, in addition to the Jennison factory at Parraween Street, Cremorne Junction, the new caravans could be inspected at the showrooms of D Pilcher & Co, and that Larke, Neave & Carter were distributors, suggesting that Jennison was building up a distribution network. Both D Pilcher & Co and Larke, Neave & Carter were Chevrolet agents in Sydney.
By 1938 there was a further design development shown in this advert published in the Daily Telegraph on Friday, 10 June 1938 (page 16):
As indicated this caravan was advertised in June 1938, apparently by a private seller who stated that he bought the caravan new in April 1938. It is a squarer shape than the 1937 caravans, and while it seems to have a raised section in the roof, it doesn't look like it was a full lantern roof as such with little ventilation windows lining the sides of the raised section. It is hard to be 100% sure from the photo though.
Note that the van included a bath and a radio which might have been features of the De Luxe model?
Moving on to 1939, Jennison advertised the 'Jennison Road Cruiser' (reverting back to the original model name) in the Daily Telegraph on Friday, 5 May 1939 (page 18):
This caravan seems to be generally similar in shape to the 1938 model, but with a few minor styling changes. However it appears that there is no longer a raised section of the roof, and the bath is still listed as one of the features!
Although during the couple of years prior to 1939 Jennison had developed full-height, rigid roof caravans, there still appears to have been a market for the telescopic roof vans such as this 'slightly used' example shown in an advert in the Daily Telegraph on Friday, 24 March 1939 (page 17):
According to the Jennison family, John Jennison moved his caravan building business from Adelaide to Sydney in 1936/7. It appears that the business was incorporated as Jennison Caravan Cruisers Pty Ltd in 1937 following the Jennison family's re-location.
Perhaps forum member Jennison may know where W M Batten and A P Benson fitted in the picture?
Hi DonR that's an interesting newspaper clipping indeed! There is a magazine article my grandmother did in the early 60's where she said that it was at the urging of a businessman and customer that JAJ decided to to move the caravan business to the eastern states to further expand it so this ties in quite nicely and also probably points to something I've often wondered, that being how he got the money to move to Sydney and immediately set up shop and roll straight into production on what appears to be a bigger scale than what he was doing in SA. I think Grandma Jenno mentions the business mans name in the article so I will have to find it and check it out. I have a copy of both the abridged version as printed in the magazine and the original handwritten version she wrote herself(I've just got to find where I put it!) As an aside I was talking with my sister last xmas when she gave me a box of caravan memorabilia (some documents, business stamps etc she found in a box of mums things). She is quite adamant from early discussions with mum that JAJs original plan was to move to NZ and set up a caravan business there but for whatever reason once they got to Sydney decided opportunities were there to be had at home and there they stayed....it was their original hometown anyway. I love the way snippets of information still come up. I will send you copies of those bits and pieces/documents my sister suddenly produced last xmas. One in particular being a business stamp "Jennirell Trailer Engineering" We can date it very accurately at around 1950/51 when JAJ was dying of kidney failure and he passed a share of the business to Craig Burrel his foreman. We already know that Craig gave this opportunity up shortly afterwards as he was a very shy character and while at home in the background running the factory floor, he could not deal with the "front office side of things" I certainly never knew they had got as far as changing the business name. I will get onto it regards Jenno
Last Edit: Nov 4, 2020 13:05:16 GMT 10 by Jennison
Post by Don Ricardo on Jan 9, 2021 10:44:34 GMT 10
Jennison has kindly provided a copy of the magazine article (see his post immediately above) written by his grandmother Doris Jennison in 1952 telling the story of how her husband John Jennison became involved in the caravan industry, from the construction of their first caravan in 1933 to the development of the Jennison Pathfinder after World War II. It's a fascinating read and has been incorporated into the updated first post on this thread here.
Below is a photo of the first Jennison caravan, the story of which is told in Doris Jennison's article:
Thanks to Jennison for sharing some more of his family's history with us.