Birth of Winnebago


An avid outdoor camping enthusiast, Hanson became convinced that travel trailer manufacturing was an attractive opportunity for the community, He convinced local investors to lure Modernistic Industries, a California travel trailer manufacturing firm, to open a branch facility in Forest City. In 1959, Hanson became president of the new firm, Modernistic Industries of Iowa. Immediately, Hanson began to explore methods for improving the company’s trailers. He identified the potential for new products and implemented effective cost-cutting measures. Hanson ultimately brought mass production to motor home assembly and led the company, renamed Winnebago Industries, Inc. in 1961, to dominance in the motor home field.