Skip to main content Smithsonian Institution

Additional Online Media

Catalog Data

Ryder Mobile Homes, Inc.  Search this
Ryder, Ralph  Search this
Zink, Philip G.  Search this
Zink, Scott  Search this
15 Cubic feet (44 boxes and 1 oversize folder)
Collection descriptions
Archival materials
Business records
Trade catalogs
circa 1920s-2001
The collection documents trailer park life, particularly the Ryder Mobile Homes Park founded by Ralph Ryder in New Haven, Connecticut in 1930.
Scope and Contents:
The collecton consists of photographs, trade literature, plans, park bulletins, specifications, sales materials and contracts from manufacturers, articles, and sales literature on the company's own products. There are some personal items relating to the company founder Ralph Ryder. The photographs depict the Ryder Mobile Homes Park, and its trailers and residents, as well as other mobile homes and recreational vehicles.
The collection is arranged into seven series. Series 1: Ryder Mobile Homes Park, 1930-1990s Series 2: Residential Mobile Homes Materials, 1947-2001 Series 3: Recreational Trailer Materials, 1967-1972 Series 4: Mobile Homes Trade Literature, circa 1920s-circa 1970s Series 5: Mobile Homes Accessories Trade Literature, 1945-1994 Series 6: Magazines, 1936-1973 Series 7: Photographs, 1928-1989
Historical note:
Ryder Mobile Homes, Inc. operated a mobile home park in New Haven, Connecticut from 1930 to 1981. Ralph Ryder established the company in 1930. He built and lived in a house car, a trailer on a truck body, near New Haven, Connecticut. The company designed and built its own recreational vehicles in the 1940s and operated a dealership circa 1950 to 1981, where it sold many different brands of mobile home trailers and recreational vehicles. Ryder began selling trailers in 1936 and moved his sales operation and trailer home to a ten-acre wooded lot in Hamden, Connecticut, that he purchased from Henry Usher. He opened his trailer lot to other residents, creating one of the first mobile home parks in the United States. The trailer lot expanded to sixty acres and is still in operation. Ryder's nephew, Gary Zink, joined the business in 1947. Zink continued the business operations after Ryder's death in 1973 and then sold the business in 1999.
The collection was donated to the Archives Center by Scott and Phillip G. Zink on July 10, 2001.
Collection is open for research.
Collection items available for reproduction, but the Archives Center makes no guarantees concerning copyright restrictions. Other intellectual property rights may apply. Archives Center cost-recovery and use fees may apply when requesting reproductions.
Mobile home industry  Search this
Recreational vehicle industry  Search this
Recreational vehicle living  Search this
Recreational vehicles  Search this
Mobile home living  Search this
Mobile homes  Search this
Mobile home parks  Search this
Advertisements -- 20th century
Business records -- 20th century
Photographs -- 20th century
Trade catalogs
Ryder Mobile Homes Park Collection, Archives Center, National Museum of American History
See more items in:
Ryder Mobile Homes Park Collection
Archival Repository:
Archives Center, National Museum of American History