For as long as people have had possessions, we have needed a way to store and protect them. In Ancient times, storage was mainly used to protect and preserve the most prized possession: food. Since Ancient civilizations lacked refrigerators they needed to come up with a way to preserve their meats. In Greece, Rome, and Egypt they used salt to remove the moisture from the meat to preserve it. It was then stored in clay pots. These clay pots become the ancient world’s first storage unit. Along with meat, grains like wheat and barley were a valuable commodity that needed to be properly stored and protected from insects and small rodents. Beginning in 8500 BC they built above-ground buildings out of pottery known as granaries. According to Wikipedia, granaries were used in East Asia, Southeast Asia, and Great Britain. Of course, we now know the ones used in modern farming as grain elevators. Continue reading
No longer relegated to the edge of town next to the defunct drive-in theater, today’s self-storage facilities are bright, clean, and designed to fit in with the aesthetics of the local neighborhood. In a previous post, we talk about the historical roots of the storage industry, beginning as it did in warehouses in the industrial part of town. Even after its transformation in 1960’s Texas to the “self-storage” industry, where you could drive right up to the door of your unit, the facilities were still visually unappealing and usually in the low-rent district. But flash forward to the 21st century, and as the demand for off-site storage has increased, consumers have come to expect more upscale, conveniently located facilities.
In addition to attractive modern architecture, these re-imagined self-storage facilities often offer special amenities, like covered loading docks, elevators, access to moving dollies and rolling carts. Luxurious landscaping features often brighten the environment, and air-conditioning, controlled access, and security cameras are par for the course. Continue reading
Self-storage facilities are such a common part of the American landscape these days, it’s hard to remember a time when they weren’t around. The fact of the matter is, self-storage as we know it is only about fifty years old, although the concept of storing your goods somewhere other than your home is much older. The Self-Storage Association believes personal storage first began in England when British banking institutions were asked to safeguard valuables for clients embarking on extended voyages. But bank vaults quickly became filled up, and other locations had to be used, such as drayage, or moving companies’ facilities. In the 1850’s, the first warehouse specifically dedicated to personal storage was built. This became the model for many years — warehouses as tall as ten stories were built for personal storage, with freight elevators to reach the storage rooms