Making Friends with every move!

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Then & Now: The History Of Moving Companies

In recent blogs, we’ve taken the opportunity to highlight what separates us from other moving companies. While we’d love it if you went back and read each and every one of our blog posts (we put a lot of effort into them!), we understand that most of our readers are busy people and therefore don’t have an entire afternoon to devote to reading our comprehensive library of blog posts.

That’s why we’ll give you the Reader’s Digest version of what we’ve covered in said recent blog posts.

Friendly Movers is a local moving company that believes in being trusted, professional, and, as you could guess, friendly! We provide professional moving services for clients who are moving locally and for those who are planning a long-distance move. We also offer office moving services, short-term and long-term storage solutions, and beyond.

Part of that “beyond” is in the little things. It’s in our commitment to on-time pickup and delivery, packing services (we get that you are busy), and tailored home protection services so you can have a stress-free move.

You aren’t likely to find an interstate and intrastate moving company that offers customized, affordable moving services like we do at Friendly Movers. Our service area includes regions all the way from Florida, Georgia, Maryland, and Virginia to Washington D.C., Massachusetts, New Jersey, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Texas, and more! Find your location here. Though we are based on the East Coast, we can take you pretty much anywhere within the lower 48 states, so give your friendly local moving company a call at your convenience!


Now that we’ve gotten some of the formalities out of the way, we have a promised blog topic to get to! Below, we’ll discuss the origins of the moving industry and how far the practice has come in recent times, so read on if you are ready for a bit of a change of pace!


Let’s go back to the very beginning — a very good place to start. Originally, all humans were nomads to one degree or another. Such was the way of the hunter-gathering lifestyle. There were only so many berries to be picked or game to hunt in a given area, so as tribes grew in number they’d have to roam around in order to survive. Hence, humans didn’t have many possessions because they needed to travel light. We’d imagine they owned tents, some food and water carriers, and some animals skins to keep warm.

Moving right along, a crop of geniuses emerged in various tribes around the inhabited world to unearth the practice of farming. This was a veritable game-changer, folks, because it allowed people to stop with the hunting, the gathering, and the ridiculous, never-ending cycle of it all — they could settle down. Ahh, agriculture, we’d still be wandering the earth without you.

Once people could put down roots in a permanent location, the intrinsic drive for development and prosperity was unlocked in humanity. This meant bigger homes, more possessions, and the like. However, the invention of the wheel came after the development of agriculture, so the original movers had to do so by constructing sled-like contraptions that could be dragged. That was one way, and carrying things by hand was another — but neither could really be considered practical.


After whoever invented the wheel, well, invented the wheel, everything changed yet again. Wheels begat wagons and trains and trucks and all other wonderful vehicles, making transportation with possessions in-tow a real possibility. Even after the wheel and axle were invented, however, some still preferred the sled-dragging method, as there were no paved roads and early wheels tended to break.

Thus, moving was a difficult enterprise all around the world, arguably until the 19th century. This was when the covered wagon was introduced to America, whereby pioneers headed west in search of land, gold, freedom, and whatever else was on their hearts.

The Conestoga wagon, in particular, afforded pioneers the ability to take literal tons of belongings with them. Able to carry up to six tons of freight, Conestoga wagons boasted upward curves to keep all the cargo in the wagon — a very practical feature when traversing the Rocky Mountains and such!


The moving industry was truly born when trains and railroads became pervasive. Because paved roads only became widespread in recent times, if you and your family wanted to move somewhere relatively developed, without a costly wagon, you would take a train. Naturally, this effectively changed the game for the modern western world, effectively opening up a brand new world of possibilities for folks looking to “get out of dodge.”


The final invention of the gas-powered engine brings us up to speed. Due to the need for mass manufacturing during WWI, the number of paved roads across the United States expanded at a remarkable rate. This made road transportation much more practical and cost-effective.

The American Red Ball Transit Company was founded in 1919 by Ward B. Hiner, utilizing a fleet of motorized vans; a vastly superior option to toting furniture and other heavy possessions on and off trains.

Professional, Affordable, and Simple. Schedule Your Free, In-home estimate!


After that came a lot of boring governmental, bureaucratic squabbling. Moving companies formed alliances, governments regulated and deregulated, the alliances complied and lobbied, and so on and so forth.

Over the past several decades, a new kind of moving company was introduced to consumers — one that offered to transport possessions that were packed and unpacked by the customers themselves. While some prefer this kind of approach, others want the leg-work handled for them, from the planning to the packing and unpacking.

At Friendly Movers, we think consumers shouldn’t have to choose between moving companies to get what they want. We are a full-service moving company filled with staff members who are more than happy to do pretty much everything for our customers, but we are equally happy to let you do the packing and unpacking if it suits you!

We give you options. Good, affordable options. Call the top movers on the East Coast! Call Friendly Movers for your free quote, and thanks for reading!


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