The history of self-storage goes back far beyond what most people believe full article. Buz Victor, founder of the Self Storage Association (and also the person who started it), discovered that Chinese people had been keeping their personal possessions in clay pots since over six thousand year. These pots were kept in underground storage areas. They were monitored to ensure no one else had access to them. British dignitaries, who were often away on vacations or for long periods of times, would also seek personal storage. They would often use the services of banks to store their valuables safe, and then they would turn to moving companies. These companies would place watchmen around the property and secure lofts or stables.
You can learn a lot about self storage by looking at its history. One reason that people choose to store their personal items in self storage is security. This aspect has been an important part of self storage’s history and continues to be so. It is clear that self storage was originally managed by one person. This meant that whoever was responsible for the care of valuables would remain responsible for their loss or destruction. A bank could be held responsible for the destruction of a loft belonging to a British monarch.
However, customers are responsible for their goods with self-storage. Owners of self storage do not have access or control over the goods of customers, except when there is a lien on the property, failure to rent, in which case they can sell the goods at public auction. This is a new trend in self storage history. Security is also maintained with cameras. Security was provided by guards or complicated locks throughout the history of self-storage. The electronic thumbprint reader, which is available in more expensive storage units, is the modern equivalent. Odessa in Texas was the birthplace of self storage as we know it. It was called “A1 U Store It, U Lock It, U-Carry It the Key”. Russ Williams worked for many years in the oil and gas industry. He enjoyed fishing and needed somewhere to store additional equipment and boats. He realized that other companies in oil could use similar storage units for their commercial purposes and purchased a bunch of apartments as well as garages. They almost sold themselves.