Bookmark and Share
Facebook
Twitter
LinkedIn

REDMAN HOMES

REDMAN HOMES. Redman Homes, also known as the Redman Trailer Company, New Moon Homes, and Redman Industries, a multi-divisional corporation with headquarters in Dallas, is the second largest builder of manufactured housing in the United States. The company also produces and distributes aluminum and wood building components nationwide. The company began in 1930, when, with no previous training in the field, Harold and William Redman, along with engineer Al Hathaway, designed and produced the first Redman trailer coach. In 1937 the group incorporated the business as the Redman Trailer Company and established their first manufacturing plant in an Alma, Michigan, pickle factory. Initially, eight men on two production lines produced four to five trailers weekly. In the 1940s sales increased when the firm developed a significantly longer trailer than others in the industry. During World War II Redman received government contracts to construct military equipment and housing, ammunition trailers, and hospital units, though the government eventually curtailed trailer home manufacture due to shortages of steel, copper, aluminum, and rubber. Growth resumed after the war, as Redman and others responded to the housing shortage caused by soldiers returning from war. In 1953, when the company took the name New Moon Homes in response to the success of its New Moon brand units, it also began to advertise nationally in major magazines, replacing the concept of trailers with the new idea of mobile homes. A Redman home was featured in the film The Long, Long Trailer, starring Lucille Ball and Desi Arnaz. The company began to expand significantly after 1957, when it completed plants at Rapid City, South Dakota, and Americus, Georgia. In 1959 the firm employed 650 workers and produced 500 homes a month using a new process that moved units sideways along the assembly line. In the 1960s the company diversified into recreational vehicles and building supplies in addition to all types of low-cost housing. A facility opened at Hazelton, Pennsylvania, and corporate offices moved to Dallas, Texas. Other facilities were completed in Nebraska and California, and in 1963 New Moon Homes reincorporated in Delaware as Redman Industries. By 1970 the firm had further integrated by producing mobile housing to accommodate a wide variety of markets, and in 1971 the firm reincorporated as Redman Homes, Incorporated.

By the 1980s manufactured housing offered a growing substitute for site-based construction, and Redman offered its customers designs, furnishings, and floor plans for single and multi-sectional homes. Zoning and financing restrictions, which had limited earlier growth, had been lifted, and new construction standards were in place that helped the firm to expand. In 1982, when the firm acquired Timber Tech to increase its production of wood building components, it delivered 12,697 manufactured houses. By that time, Redman remained a family-owned and managed enterprise, but had four major subsidiaries, servicing 1,500 independent retailers from sixteen production facilities in twelve states and employing 3,000 workers. In a single year the firm had sales of $279 million. Redman Building Products, with seven production facilities in four states and six distribution centers, manufactured products ranging from aluminum window and door components to fabricated walls and stadium seating for homebuilders and contracting firms, including government-sponsored housing projects. Its Alenco plant at Bryan, Texas, was among the nation's largest aluminum extrusion finishing plants. Another subsidiary known as Corporation R maintained mobile home parks in Denver, Colorado, and Denton, Texas. In addition to manufacturing, Redman was active in energy conservation and design and involved in advertising, marketing research, and research and development. In 1988 Wingate Partners acquired Redman, refocused the company on the production of its core manufactured housing operations, decentralized its organization, and sold peripheral businesses. In the 1990s the firm operated sixteen manufacturing facilities and sold its products under various brand names through 925 independent retailers in forty states. Between 1989 and 1992 the company acquired three manufacturing facilities, Craftsman Homes of North Carolina, and the assets of Silvercrest, a West Coast high-end home manufacturer. In 1993 the company again went public.

Diana J. Kleiner

Citation

The following, adapted from the Chicago Manual of Style, 15th edition, is the preferred citation for this article.

Diana J. Kleiner, "REDMAN HOMES," Handbook of Texas Online (http://www.tshaonline.org/handbook/online/articles/dqr03), accessed October 01, 2014. Uploaded on June 15, 2010. Published by the Texas State Historical Association.