We take for granted the lightweight nylon backpacking and camping tents we have today. But tents didn’t change much from Thoreau’s day until a Midwestern artist turned one of his art concepts into a lightweight portable shelter. Bill Moss designed and patented the first dome tent in 1955 and initiated the transformation of two industries in the process.
Starting with the Pop-Tent, Moss’ designs revolutionized tent construction over the following decades. His Moss tents built a loyal following. Eventually his pioneering tension fabric technology helped to change exhibit construction practices in the tradeshow industry as well.
Bill’s ex-wife and business partner, Marilyn Moss, chronicles his life and impact in her recent book Bill Moss: Fabric Artist & Designer. The 300-plus page coffee table book is divided into two parts. Part one, “The Bill Moss Story,” covers Moss’ life, product designs, and impact. Marilyn gets a little help with several chapters penned by associates and protégés of Bill’s. Part two, “From Op to Pop,” provides not only a gallery of Moss tents and sculptures, but stories submitted by loyal Moss tent owners about their globe-trotting adventures in trusty Moss tents.
The entirety of Mark Ollinger's story about Bill Moss' tents appears in the November 2013 print edition of Silent Sports. To order a copy or subscribe, call 888/706-4045.