Category Archives: First Self-Storage

The Renaissance of A 6,000-Year-Old Industry

Ancient Chinese Pottery

Introduction...The first self-storage facilities were probably in China. About 6,000 years ago, the Chinese would often store their possessions in clay pots in public underground storage pits. These pits were monitored, to make sure that nobody could remove any pot or its contents except for their own.

Thousands of years later, the British had refined the concept, for the sake of dignitaries who had to be away from home for extended periods, by crating these items and placing them in stables – often with watchmen to secure them. These arrangements for storage were made by bankers, who procured such storage through third parties.

In the 1850s, the storage business came to America with the creation of Bekins, which was founded by Martin Bekins, son of a Dutch immigrant. Bekins recognized the new migration of Americans to the west, and was the first to build a facility for the storage of household goods and valuables.

In modern times…1906, Bekins built the first reinforced steel and concrete warehouse in Los Angeles, and the second in San Francisco. It is interesting to note that during the great earthquake of 1906 in San Francisco, this warehouse was one of the few structures that did not collapse.

On the east coast, more storage was being constructed by such companies as Minneapolis Van Lines and Weimer Storage. Indeed, the 1920s saw a large number of companies enter the self-storage industry. In 1928, Arthur Trachte, of Trachte Building Systems, built interconnected metal garages for “cars without homes”.

The modern self storage industry began in roughly the 1960s. But the large- scale, institutional side of the business began in 1972, with the first Public Storage facility in El Cajon, California.

Today, there are around 52,000 self-storage facilities in the U.S. The total area of this storage is three times the size of Manhattan – under roof! The industry generates over $5,200,000,000 in revenue each year. One in every ten families in the U.S. rents a self-storage space.

In Conclusions…The Renaissance of A 6,000-Year-Old Industry is taking place in America today and you can be a part of it.  There are 52,000 facilities in the U.S.  But experts in industry are saying that the earliest the U.S. demand will be satisfied is 2025.  There still is room for you to participate.

Continued Next Week…Get ten little known secrets this industry produces  steady real estate income.  Click here to make sure you can be a part of this Renaissance.

Did Art Linkletter, The Radio and TV Host for 45 Years, Build The First Self-Storage Property?

Introduction…Rumor has it that the first U.S. self-storage property was built by Art Linkletter, the author, radio and TV personality of the 1930s to the 1960s.  What we do know for sure is that the second career for Linkletter, who lived until he was 92, was that of a successful builder.
One of his first properties looked liked 100 attached garages which he called self-storage.  In addition he built houses  and office/retail in the Santa Monica, California area.  The above Youtube video features Linkletter Self-Storage in Long Beach, California.
“We (Art Linkletter Enterprise) had a mobile storage company with 750 steel containers stacked five high that we would put on people’s properties for temporary storage,” the elder Linkletter said, “but we sold that company in December.” It was formed in 1985.
In his 50’s, Linkletter traveled 250,000 miles a year, making appearances at ground breakings and openings for clients and speaking  often as part of his crusade against drug abuse, which began in 1969 following his daughter Diane’s drug-related death.
In conclusion… Evidence that Art Linkletter was the first builder of self-storage properties in the U.S.could not be found, but it can be argued that he was one of the pioneers in the industry.