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The History of Self-Storage

Stop N Stor HinesvilleIt seems like there has always been a self storage facility in every town with some cities having multiple storage facilities. But, only fifty years ago, self storage was considered a “mom and pop” operation, with smaller operations to Real Estate Investment Trusts (REITS) with hundreds of facilities across the country. The self storage industry history is actually thousands of years old!

Storage units and a self storage concept can actually be traced back over 2,000 years ago to ancient China. Remains were found by archeologists showing that the Chinese stored belongings in clay pots in an underground storage pit.  These pits would be guarded and monitored to make sure no one but the owner could remove their pot. Many years later, British banking institutions entered the self storage industry, although it was still very different from today’s industry. Banks would store valuables for clients going overseas for extended periods of time. As these bank vaults became overcrowded with belongings, another option became necessary.  In the 1850s, the first warehouse specifically designed to hold personal and household items was built.

Brothers Martin and John Bekins developed the concept of self storage for the United States in 1891, when they created Bekin Van Lines in Omaha, Nebraska.  In 1903, they were the first company to use motor trucks instead of horse-drawn carriages, and in 1906 they built the first concrete and steel warehouse for storage.

Today, there are over 60,000 storage facilities worldwide with over 48,000 of them in the United States! The self storage industry has come a long way in the past couple of thousand years!  Today, many facilities offer state-of-the-art services, computerized gate entry and climate controlled storage units. Stop N Stor has had locations in Savannah, Port Wentworth and Hinesville since the 1990’s.  Stop by our facility to see how our storage professionals can help you with your personal and business storage needs.


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