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Portable shelters (rather than tents) had been used for at least a short time by the military. In March, 1941 the navy requested a prefabricated, "knockdown shelter" to be built here.
The contractor's first design was created at Quonset Point, Rhode Island; it was a half-cylinder made of corrugated steel with arch ribs; insulated, with a pressed-wood interior; it could be put up on concrete, on pilings, or on the ground.
The army ordered 16,000 of them after the attack on Pearl Harbor.
The military uses portable canopies and tents now.