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An Antique Tiny House on Wheels, From 1929

Tumbleweed Tiny Houses has received word that we’re not quite the first house on wheels.  Today we learned about Charles Miller, who built and parked his very own Model-T home in Odgen, UT.  This 1929 cottage-to-go is a stunner!

Model T Motor Home built in Ogden, Utah (www.theoldmotor.com)

Model T Motor Home built in Ogden, Utah (www.theoldmotor.com)

In this classic farm cottage, we appreciate the roof line, finished porch, well-proportioned front door and over-sized windows.  This archetypal home resided right on Mr. Miller’s lawn, parked close to his larger homestead.

While Miller’s cottage looks terrific, it might not be ready to withstand the rigors of travel.  The Model T trailer foundation seems too light for the load, and its engine horsepower would be severely tested.  Once underway, imagine hitting a windy storm and losing this beauty!

Away from home, the lack of amenities would be noticed.  Mr. Miller lived in the City of Ogden, and within a short drive to Utah’s high deserts and mountains.  Without plumbing, water, power or alternative sources, the cottage provided shelter without some of the comforts of home.

Yet we can overlook construction matters and appreciate this stylish house on wheels.  Here’s to Charles Miller, a man ahead of his time!

[Special thanks to David Greenlees and The Old Motor.]

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By debby — November 30, 2013


Filed under: Home Design 
  • Bruce Johnson

    I’m almost certain that this is the same image that I emailed to Jay Shafer a few years ago. I forget where I originally located it. It’s nice that you uncovered the background on Charles Miller. I did not ha
    ve that information.

  • Alinda Sue Harrison

    In 1929, “amenities” like indoor plumbing weren’t always a consideration, even in full sized houses. My current house didn’t have plumbing in it until the addition was built 50 years later in 1945.

  • Dane Glasoe

    Charles Miller wasn’t the first. Charles Kellogg mounted a hollowed out redwood log with windows on a Jeffery Quad then moved it to a Nash Quad in 1917. It doesn’t look as house like as Mr. Miller but I think the sentiment is the same. I would guess the folks at the Old Motor would have info on that as well. If not I could probably round up a picture or two.

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