living tiny, travel

Is It an Airstream?

I get this question a lot with the Avion — and now I’m getting it with the Silver Streak. No, it’s not an Airstream. But all of them drew on the same post-World War Two airplane design and technology — riveted aluminum, rounded edges for streamlined aerodynamics on the road.

“Famous Aircraft Riveted Construction”

They also shared the postwar zeitgeist of middle class leisure and adventure on the open road. I just love the way these marketing materials reflect a particular historical moment, an era when the American Dream of consumer abundance and a “royal road to adventure” seemed within reach of so many. Even in the late 1970s, in the wake of the oil crisis and the dimming of American triumphalism, the rhetoric is still about a life without limits….

“The Royal Road to Adventure”

I’m particularly fascinated by the work of gender in this brochure: the men do the building while the women — in their dresses and kitten heels — do the enjoying — and, yes, the cooking, but it’s fun — it’s tailgating, not domestic drudgery. And the woman in the bottom photo, sipping her Folger’s instant coffee and surveying her domain with that little smile. I wonder where her husband is….

Or maybe that smug smile is because she’s traveling solo on the royal road of adventure. What do you want to bet she has a spunky little dog along for the ride?

Originally published on

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