Glamping with the Vagabonds

24 November 2022

Between 1915 and 1924, Henry Ford, Thomas Edison, Harvey Firestone, and John Burroughs, calling themselves the Four Vagabonds, embarked on a series of summer camping trips.

The group enjoyed the freedom and fun of motoring so much that Edison proposed similar ‘gipsy’ trips in future summers. All agreed

For several years before and after 1920, Henry Ford, Thomas Edison, Harvey Firestone, and John Burroughs participated in a series of motor camping caravans, described as the first notable linking of the automobile with outdoor recreation.

In 1918, the Vagabonds moved along in six cars, two Packards for travelling, two Model Ts, and two Ford trucks-plus seven drivers and helpers.

Post-1924, the Vagabonds ‘Camped no More’, but the publicity surrounding their expeditions probably means they were the avant-garde of Glamping.

It seems that not just the Model T; Mr Ford is possibly responsible for the overwhelming popularity of the American Recreational Vehicle (RV) market, valued at USD 48.8 billion in 2021 and expected to reach USD 70.7 billion by 2027.