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The Brief (But Dated!) History of Self Storage

Published on July 22nd, 2013

 history of self storageThe history of self storage is dated back long before we established Aaron Bros. Moving System, Inc. in 1969.

As a matter-of-fact, when researching “self-storage history,” there are a slew of different dates and birth places of our kind of business. It is agreed upon that some 2,000 to 6,000 years ago (like I said, the dates fluctuate greatly) a basic form of self-storage was found in Ancient China where people often stored their possessions in clay pots in public underground storage pits. Then history jumps some 1,000 years forward and credits the British for refining the art of public storage by crating dignitaries’ belongings and placing them in guarded stables.

In 1891, brothers Martin and John Bekins founded Bekins Moving Company in Nebraska, using horse-drawn carts to capitalize on America’s western mobility. And like Aaron Bros. and many other moving companies, moving and storage go hand and hand. So it was the natural progression when The Bekins’ opened up their first storage facility in 1895 in California, thus taking credit for the first concrete, fireproof constructed building intended to securely store other people’s stuff.

 history of self storage

Newspaper ad for Bekins Self-Storage

American self-storage seems to have developed into the modernized version we now know in the late 1950’s, although there is some discrepancy on who gets the rights to claim, “1st self-storage facility EVER!” after the Bekins. None-the-less, a handful of “Mom and Pop” facilities began to spring up around the United States with the 1970’s seeing the first of the nationwide chains. Today, there is 2.3 billion square feet of rent-able space with 1 in 10 American households renting at least one storage unit. Of course with any industry, there are the “chains” around the country providing self-storage; however, we are proud to report that the “Mom and Pop” facilities are still the majority of the owners of the 49,000 self-storage facilities in the United States.

History Of Self Storage

history of self storage

History Of Self Storage

Our Aaron Bros. location

As for our four self-storage facilities that are part of the modern imprint of self-storage…Aaron Bros. Moving System, Inc. was established in 1969, followed by Hyde Park Self-Storage in 1991, South Shore Self-Storage in 1996, and the youngest in the family, 83rd & Halsted Self-Storage in 2004.

With the need for self-storage units continuing to be part of our American lifestyle, stay true to the tradition and rent locally at one of our facilities. Inquire now about each facilities individual “Deal of the Month!”

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