Private individuals and businesses can use facilities that offer storage unit rentals. These storage companies typically have locked units where belongings can be kept securely and safely. Usually, only the business or individual renting the space is allowed access. Yet, self-storage as we know it today has its roots in a rather different form . . .
It is believed that the concept of storage units began in ancient China, as long as 6,000 years ago. At this time, people stored their personal belongings in big ceramic pots that were kept in secure areas underground. The basic idea of this early system is essentially the same as the idea of today’s secure storage unit rentals.
A few hundred years ago, a similar idea was adopted by the British aristocracy when travel became popular and available to the wealthy. Not wanting to leave their belongings unattended while they were away for months at a time, they got help from banks, which offered them storage unit rentals in the form of stables where, for a fee, they could store their possessions.
The first person to start a storage business in America was Martin Bekin in the 1850s. His idea was in response to the needs of immigrants who needed a place to store their possessions while settling in America. Bekin’s first storage-purpose warehouses, made of concrete and reinforced steel, were built in 1906.