For centuries, teepees, tents, horse-drawn covered wagons, and other mobile homes have served as housing solutions.  In the United States, colonization relied on inexpensive and quick housing–wood panels for the first prefab home in the U.S. arrived with colonists in the early 1600’s, shipped from England.  The first prefabricated cast-iron house was completed in England in 1830.  A decade later factories in America and England were producing components for metal houses and shipping them to settlements across the world.  House kits provided temporary housing for miners during the California gold rush of 1849.

During the 19th century, the business of making building components that could be assembled on remote sites developed into a substantial industry, known since the 1930’s as prefab.