carriages / carriage types


blog - Showcase - entries

Today is the second full day of the sixth annual CAA Carriage Festival, being held in the Alltech Arena at the Kentucky Horse Park. In fact, as I type this, the evening session is due to start in about 20 minutes … so this will be quick!

The judges’ commentary and awards were presented earlier today in this year’s CAA Carriage Showcase, in which restored horse-drawn vehicles are judged on the quality and correctness of the restoration.

In the three photos below are the winners of the major Showcase awards … The Bob Sleigh in the first photo is owned by Dr. Susan Orosz. It was awarded the Davis Documentation Award, and it won the People’s Choice Award. The Sidney Latham Trophy (for the highest-scoring vehicle in use) went to Joni Kuhn’s Spider Phaeton, built c. 1890 by Van Roobroeck of Belgium. And, the final two photos show Chris & Judd Roseberry’s beautifully restored Piano Box Buggy (c. 1905), which won the coveted Carl Casper Trophy, for being the highest-scoring restored vehicle in the Showcase. Congratulations to all the winners!

blog - Showcase - sleigh

blog - Showcase - spider phaeton

blog - Showcase - piano box buggy 3

blog - Showcase - piano box buggy 2 - detail

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One of the CAA’s members in Belgium wrote to tell us about a carriage restoration that his company finished recently.

He said, “After eighteen months of continuous hard work we can finally add another beautiful vehicle to our long list of restorations: a Traveling Chariot by Laurie & Marner.

“This carriage was in rather sound condition when purchased but needed full restoration. It is fitted with a footman’s platform for town use. The large mud screen in front of the body and the exclusive day and night lamps illustrate its use as a traveling vehicle, in which case it would have been fitted with a seat for the servants.

“We gave it a ‘patina’ finish, and it looks now as if it was stored under the best possible conditions and left untouched for the last 120 years.

“It has been painted a deep burgundy red with orange striping beautifully underlining the delicate wood carvings on the undercarriage.

“The sumptuous interior upholstery, with lavish use of luxurious authentic épinglé lace, demonstrates just well how the wealthy nobility traveled in the nineteenth century.”

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Enjoy these photos of the beautifully restored Traveling Chariot …

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Travelling chariot 2

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Travelling Chariot 3

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Travelling Chariot 4

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Travelling Chariot 5

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Travelling Chariot 6

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Travelling Chariot 7

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Travelling Chariot 8

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Travelling Chariot 9

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Travelling Chariot 10

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Travelling Chariot 11

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Travelling Chariot 1

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Thanks to Mindy Groff (our occasional guest-blogger from the Carriage Museum of America) for this post on one of the lesser-known trade journals …

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When you think about historic carriage periodicals, the first titles that come to mind are probably The Hub and The Carriage Monthly. We talk about these publications often, as they were the leading journals of the carriage era. But let’s not overlook the other journals that were published during this time period, appealing to smaller markets within the carriage community. This week I’ve spent some time reading Vehicle Dealer, and it’s a great resource for this particular aspect of the carriage trade.

Vehicle Dealer cover

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The first volume of the Vehicle Dealer was published in April 1902, and publication continued until 1911. It was printed by the Ware Bros. of Philadelphia, whom you may recognize as the publishers of The Carriage Monthly. The journal was targeted to the fifty or sixty thousand dealers doing business at that time, with a two-fold purpose: to establish communication between these dealers, and to make dealers aware of developments in carriage building so that they could stay ahead in the business. In their first issue, the Vehicle Dealer’s editors wrote that “trade conditions have for some time demanded, and now imperatively demand, that a paper of this character and purpose be published.”

Each issue features articles about trade conditions, shipping and freight costs, carriage repository best practices, ethics of business, and other topics of interest to carriage dealers. The journal was also a great opportunity for wholesale carriage manufacturers to promote their products to these dealers. The advertisements featured new styles, brag about cost and quality, and announce catalog availability.

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Vehicle Dealer Ad

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The advertisements were endorsed as being a service to the dealers, in that they could use each issue as a catalog of sorts in their shops. What should you do if a customer is about to leave without making a purchase? Here’s the suggestion put forth in Vol. 1 No. 1: “When it comes time for the visitor to walk out, after he has looked all over the stock and sees nothing to take his eye, the dealer has one card to play. Let him invite the outgoing, would-be buyer to his office, ask him to take a seat, lay down before him The Vehicle Dealer, open its advertising pages to him and say ‘Now, my friend, look over these 100 pages of carriage illustrations. They represent the latest and best makes of vehicles from all over the United States. Here, my friend, is the greatest carriage repository the world ever saw. Go through it page by page. Look at the description of each display, note the style, appearance, the good points. Turn on, page by page, and you will probably find what you want. If it is not there, it is not made.'” In 1905, the Vehicle Dealer even published a special supplement to the regular journal, the Manufacturers’ Vehicle Cyclopedia for New Styles. It left out the articles altogether, including instead a whole book of advertisements featuring new vehicle styles.

Want to learn more about the Vehicle Dealer? Come visit the library, or “like” us on Facebook! I’ll be sharing more advertisements from this publication over the next few weeks.

One of the vehicles up for auction at last weekend’s Martin Auctioneers carriage sale was an original-condition Brewster coach. It was described in the catalog as a Park Drag, but it appears to be bigger and heavier and perhaps more akin to a Road Coach … and the boot opens the “wrong” way for a Park Drag (from the side instead of from the top). But, regardless, it was an original-condition thing of beauty.

Here are some photos of the coach (taken with the camera on my phone in less-than-ideal lighting, so please excuse the low quality) …

We have views of the toe-board lamp, a view and a detail of one side lamp, and a bit of the other side lamp with its glass turned around for daytime; both doors, one with the window down and the other with the shutter up; details of a rear wheel and the undercarriage; a (dark!) view of the original upholstery, a look at the coach lace on the door, and the Brewster name plate on the inside of one of the doors.

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coach1

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coach2

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coach1a

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coach3

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coach9

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coach7

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coach8

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coach 10

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coach11

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coach12

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coach13

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coach5

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coach6

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coach4

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Randy, one of our CAA members in California, most recently shared a couple of photos of a 1915 Pierce-Arrow Limousine with a Kimball-built body. He’s now sent this photo and the accompanying information. Thanks again, Randy!

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“This photo was taken on Liberty Street, in Franklin, Pennsylvania, which is in the northwestern part of the state. The women inside is Edna Ulrich, and this is her Popcorn Wagon. If you look closely at the colored glass above her head, you can see her name in the glass. I believe  this is the large ‘D’ Model Cretors wagon with the driver’s seat out in front. I had never seen it, but was told that she had a large pony that she used to hitch to it, and it and the wagon were housed in a building a couple of  blocks away from this spot. I’m not sure of the time period, but the wagon looks in very nice condition, and I am guessing that the customer’s attire dates to maybe around the late 1930s?”

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My guess (Jennifer here) is that the lady’s ankle-length dress would’ve been from an earlier era. What do you think?

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popcorn wagon in philly

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One of our CAA members is the curator at Norway’s Folkenborg Museum.

He wrote, “In 2013, the one-hundredth anniversary of Norwegian women’s right to vote was celebrated around the country. Many Norwegian museums hosted exhibits focused on women’s liberation and the progress made since 1913.

“As a carriage museum, we chose to focus on the difference between ladies’ and gentlemen’s vehicles. Typical carriages and sleighs, along with historical photos, illustrated women’s approach to carriage driving.”

Here are a few photos that were featured in the exhibit. These are all from Mr. Hoie’s archives, and he provided the captions.

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First, a royal coachman with a lady’s Cutter hitched to a Fjord horse, from the royal court of Norway / Queen Maud, c. 1910 …

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Norway - ladies vehicles 1

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Two young girls with their pony and Governess Cart, c. 1920 …

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Norway - ladies vehicles 2

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A young lady driving her pony to a two-wheeled Dog-cart, in Oslo, c. 1890. The vehicle is by Brainsby & Sons of Long Acre, London, and is in the museum’s collection …

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Norway - ladies vehicles 5

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Two ladies in a ladies’ Phaeton, with the groom driving, in Ostfold county, c. 1900 …

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Norway - ladies vehicles

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A line drawing, by T. Odegaard, of a ladies’ Phaeton with a wicker main seat …

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Norway - ladies vehicles 3

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I’m finally starting to go through all the photos I took at last weekend’s horse-drawn artillery school.

I’ll share more of the photos next week (and in the August issue of The Carriage Journal), but for now, let’s take a look at the just-completed battery wagon.

There’s one (yes, ONE) original Civil War-era battery wagon left in the U.S. And there were five reproductions. This wagon, then, is number seven, and it was built according to the original, excruciatingly detailed specifications.

These four horses can confirm that the wagon (here, not yet loaded with all of the supplies it was meant to carry) is quite heavy. It would, in fact, normally be hitched to a team of six horses.

 

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© Jennifer Singleton / www.TheSingleFrame.com

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© Jennifer Singleton / www.TheSingleFrame.com

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