Quonset Hut History Quonset Hut History Quonset Hut History

During the Second World War it is estimated that thousands of Quonset huts were built and used in the field of combat by the United States military. While most Quonset huts were made from metal, the military also had a wooden alternative that was occasionally used.

The reason why they were so popular and so widely used is because they could be sent almost anywhere (since when they’re disassembled they don’t take up much room) and then built in just a few hours (with enough people helping).

The beauty of these huts is that they could be used for almost anything (such a workshops, living quarters, medical areas, storage bays, etc) and because they could be setup and taken back down again so quickly they could be moved along the battle field step by step as the soldiers advanced.

Before Quonset huts came along you had the choice of using canvas tents, civilian buildings (if there were any in your area) and digging foxholes and trenches – none of which have quite the same set of advantages as Quonset buildings do.

They get their name (‘Quonset’) because they were first made at a place called ‘Quonset Point’, which is located on the east coast of America in Rhode Island. When the Second World War ended the US Army needed a way to get rid of the massive surplus of huts that they had, so they decided to sell them to the public. They proved to be extremely popular (which is part of the reason why they’re still made and sold today) as some people wanted them as mementos of the war, whilst other simply wanted to use them for their practicality.

After the war (when Quonset huts went into mass production for commercial uses) the design of the buildings was changed slightly. Many companies decided to increase the size of them (sometimes to the size of an entire factory or warehouse) whereas other companies changed the basic shape so that the walls went straight upwards instead of curving round (thus adding more space to the inside of the hut). The third major change that was made after the war was to break down some of the larger pieces so that you had more (but smaller) pieces. This made it easier to manage, since every piece was a lot lighter to carry.

It’s common to see Quonset huts still as you travel across the USA, and for many people they are a proud part of their heritage.

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Metal buildings are used for a variety of tasks these days, such as for workshops, garages, storage areas and even living spaces. Some people may think that these kinds of metal buildings are a new thing, but many of them have evolved from the Quonset hut buildings from the Second World War. For years during the war Quonset hut buildings were setup as places for soldiers to occupy when traditional houses were not available.