Ephemera collection item helps restore 1949 Streamlite trailer

Sep 26, 2014

A researcher on the West Coast recently contacted Historic New England’s Library and Archives to obtain a copy of a 1948 Streamlite Corporation pamphlet. The pamphlet features illustrations of a trailer coach he is restoring.

Restorers of old things often appreciate not only their craftsmanship and materials, but also their accompanying stories. As this researcher commented, these trailers evoke the post-World War II era, when veterans were returning home, housing shortages were common, and mobility was an advantage in the search for jobs.

The pamphlet features a variety of Streamlite models. A double-page spread depicts the Streamlite plant in Chicago with the caption, “geared to turn out one quality trailer coach every 12 minutes,” attributing their achievement to a combination of traditional craftsmanship and mass-production methods.

The researcher will begin work on his 1949 trailer over the winter months and has offered to update Historic New England on his progress. If you have experience with a similar project, please let us know in the comments.

Historic New England’s ongoing ephemera cataloguing project has made thousands of items (such as product catalogues like this one, trade cards, and advertisements) findable through our Collections Access portal, resulting in frequent inquiries and tales of research and projects enriched by the collection.