Olivia Erlanger and Luis Ortega Govela
Like with the Model T Henry Ford invented mass production, the garage was integral to the mass-production of the home. Inspired by Frank Lloyd Wright’s prairie-style homes, like the 1909 Robie House, the first in the U.S. with an attached garage, the food distributor Joseph Eichler applied his skills from food distribution to the housing market, building thousands of tract homes in California that came to define the West Coast.
These newly universal garages served as a major inspiration for American culture. But they were built on a foundation of lies. Lloyd Wright notoriously altered plans to change dates and made spurious claims about his creations—and even his own age. Steve Jobs claimed to have started Apple, along with the oft-forgotten Steve Wozniak, in the garage of an Eichler home. Whether Apple was born in a garage is up for debate, however, it is generally agreed that Jobs’s family’s home was no Eichler, but rather another level of a knock off. How appropriate.