Mobile living hasn’t always involved towing something behind the car or driving around in a modified van.

Back in 1938, the venerable US magazine Modern Mechanix published ashore article about a “collapsible home’ that could be carried on a car roof rack and pitched much like a stiff-walled tent.

The contraption measured 6 x 9 x 2 feet when folded and while the assembled dimensions aren’t stated, the accompanying pictures suggest that they were 6 x 9 x 6 feet. Quite how it could then be used by “four persons” isn’t explained, but we understand that people were smaller in those days…

Here’s the original piece, with the short text below:

Featuring six windows fitted with slid-glass and permanent screens, a newly developed prefabricated collapsible house which can be carried on the roof of an ordinary passenger auto enables sportsmen, fishermen and others who like the outdoors to enjoy short or prolonged trips in perfect comfort.

In its compact form the folding house measures only 6x9x2 feet. For protection to the car and to facilitate loading and unloading, a metal frame is used to support the house during transit. The frame can be clamped to the car without drilling and is easily removed. The photos above show the house being transported, unloaded, set-up and used by four persons.

[Modern Mechanix]