Ever wondered how Self Storage first started?
What was before Lok’nStore Business & Household Self Storage?
The history of self storage begins much farther back than most think. Buz Victor (who founded the Self Storage Association), while on a trip to China discovered that people had been keeping their personal belongings in clay pots for over six thousand years. These pots were deposited in underground storage areas, and were monitored to make sure nobody could access any jar but their own.
Later on British dignitaries would vacation or be away for extended periods of time, they too would seek personal storage – they would often hire banking companies to keep their valuables secure, and the banks in turn would go to moving companies. These companies would secure lofts or stables, and store the valuables in crates inside, often putting watchmen nearby.
We can all learn about the do’s and dont’s of storing goods and belongings by examining the history of self storage. For example, security has forever been one of the main reasons people seek personal storage, and remains one of the most (if not the most) important aspect of it today. The history of self storage shows us that originally, whoever was charged with taking care of valuables would retain responsibility in the event that they were lost or destroyed. For example, if a loft for a British aristocrat were burned down, the bank would be held responsible.
The first facility in the history of self storage (as we now know it) was in Odessa, Texas, and was called “A1 U-Store-It, U-Lock-It, U-Carry the Key.” Russ Williams, who had worked in the oil industry for much of his life, enjoyed fishing in his free time and needed somewhere to keep extra equipment and boats. He realized other firms in the oil industry could use similar storage units for commercial purposes, and so bought a group of apartments and garages.
They more or less sold themselves.
Possibly the most important lesson to draw from the history of self storage is an obvious one: as long as there are things, people will need somewhere to put them.
By Mike Farley
(For those of you who are still awake, have a look at this Moose head made of cardboard)