NMA collection record

Propert caravan, 1956


This is a 1950s pale pink, rounded bottom Propert caravan. The caravan is made from plywood on a wooden frame with aluminium trim. It has Mexican pattern curtains, a linoleum floor covering in bright geometrical shapes, neat stowaway cupboards, shaded lights, an internal decor of cream, fawn, red and black, and is fitted out with 1950s furnishings. This resource is supported by a Flash interactive tour of the caravan.

Educational value

This Propert three-berth touring caravan was neither a production-line model nor a prototype - it was a one-off built for advertising purposes. It is part of a large collection of advertising material prepared by and for the Propert Trailway Products company of Sydney. Thomas Propert (1889-1969) founded the Propert Body Building Works in Sydney in 1910. For 20 years the company built car bodies for imported chassis but, partly in response to the economic downturn and changes to the car assembly industry, it moved into caravan building in the 1930s.

The 1950s was a time that saw the development of the Holden car and the end of petrol rationing. For the first time, many Australians had access to a motor vehicle and the disposable income and leisure time to enjoy it. Caravans had existed in Australia prior to the Second World War but it was not until the 1960s that family caravanning holidays became popular.

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