Friday, November 7, 2014

Portable Structures

We recently came across an invention by Mexican-American New Orleanian Dolores Morgadanes (c. 1894-1975). Patented as Automobile Tent in June 1940, the object was to improve conditions for automobile tourists visiting beach resort areas. She referred to the fact that many vacationers utilized their vehicles as changing stations, and that this practice had a deleterious effect on upholstery and beaches. Evidently a common practice was to protect car interiors with newspapers and other salvaged paper while one changed into or out of a swimsuit, and then to discard the paper on the beach. Her invention provided a pop-up dressing room that attached to one's automobile.

One Midwestern town's versatile solution to its lack of bathhouses attracted our attention this election week. In August 1922, Popular Mechanics reported that Newark, Ohio used its portable voting booths as comfort stations for swimmers on the Licking River.

Images above: Dolores Morgadanes. Automobile Tent. June 1940. Patent No. 2,204,432.
As viewed 7 November 2014 via google  patents.

"Election Booths on Wheels Used as Bathhouses." Popular Mechanics August 1922, p. 226. As viewed 7 November 2014 via google books.

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