Riveted aluminum made Airstream travel trailers an icon, with the company celebrating 90 years of production in 2021. To commemorate the anniversary, Airstream is putting a lot of its company’s history on display at its new Heritage Center located at its headquarters in Ohio. The museum will show off iconic travel trailers, highlight the founder’s life, and showcase a collection of original photos and films.
“The vintage models, mementos, journals, and films on display vividly illustrate how an Airstream is more than simply a recreational vehicle – it’s a vessel that holds the stories accumulated over years of travel and adventure,” said Airstream President and CEO Bob Wheeler.
The Airstream Heritage Center occupies a 16,000-square-foot exhibit space that showcases over 15 vintage Airstream models, including a 1938 Clipper, which was an example of the first riveted aluminum model from the company. Also on display will be the founder Wally Byam’s Gold Airstream and more.
Gallery: Airstream Heritage Center
The company hosted its first Airstream Caravan in 1951 and has been hosting them ever since, collecting original films and photos from countless worldwide travels. Airstream says travel diaries from the Africa Caravan and a collection of flags flown during the Around the World Caravan will also be on display.
While the vintage travel trailers will likely draw the most excitement, Airstream also highlights the company’s storied history. That includes showing off product testing films, engineering drawings, newspaper articles, brochures, and other historical paraphernalia. The exhibit even has the plans for NASA’s Mobile Quarantine Facilities.
Several exhibit pieces originate from Helen Byam Schwamborn’s estate, the cousin to Wally, who kept “meticulous records on Airstream history and save a litany of valuable family archives," which visitors can now enjoy.
The Airstream Heritage Center is open Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., excluding holidays. Admission is $5 for adults, $3 for seniors, $2 for military members, and children 12 and under are free. All proceeds go to the Airstream Foundation, which works to preserve Airstream history and memorabilia.