carriages / carriage types


Here’s our first guest post from Mindy, the librarian for the CMA …

.

I’m always excited when someone asks me a research question that takes me deep into the archives. I love any excuse to spend a few hours carefully turning the pages of The Hub and The Carriage Monthly. The articles are gold mines of information, and I never fail to learn something new. But the pages before and after the articles might be my favorite part. I love looking at old advertisements – reading the claims made by competing companies, questioning the way they boast, finding accessories I’ve never seen before and wondering exactly how they work. These ads can often teach us a lot.

Sometimes the advertisements just make me smile. Like this one, for the varnish maker Valentine & Company. Check out this form of “Rapid Transit” envisioned for 1900 – an “aerial dog cart” …

.

.

Valentine & Company was a frequent advertiser in The Hub. This particular ad was published on September 1, 1877 (Vol. 19, No. 6). Looking through Valentine advertisements and catalogs, I’ve noticed that carriage word-play was a common theme throughout their marketing materials. We’ll be sharing more of their entertaining prints in future posts!

Stimson & Valentine was formed in 1832 as a merger of a paint dealership and a commercial varnish producer. Around 1860, Valentine brothers Lawson and Henry became sole partners in the business and renamed it Valentine & Company. They soon made the decision to hire a chemist, Charles Homer, who worked to perfect their product.

Valentine & Company relocated to New York City in 1870, and began specializing in varnishes for vehicle finishing. By the turn of the century, Valentine & Company had branch offices throughout the country, and had won dozens of international medals for its high-quality varnish.

L. Valentine Pulsifer joined the company in 1903, putting his Harvard University chemistry degree to work. In 1907, Pulsifer produced a new product called Valspar, the first clear varnish. In 1932, Valentine & Company began to operate as a subsidiary of the newly formed Valspar Corporation, which is still in business today. 

Jill’s sister, Elizabeth, is now on her way back to England after a brief visit here in Kentucky. She came in to the office yesterday and brought a few treasures that she’d collected and that she and I thought y’all might enjoy seeing as well.

The first is this nice old postcard (postmarked 1920) of a Caleche in Quebec, Canada.

.

.

According to Don Berkebile’s Carriage Terminology, the Canadian version of a “Caleche” is, as clearly shown in the image, “a two-wheel, chaise-like vehicle used in Canada. It has a small seat on top of the dash for the driver, and the inside seat holds two passengers.” The term “Caleche” was also used to describe four-wheeled Barouches.

I’ll have to admit that I’d never heard of London’s Wellcome Library until this morning, when the announcement came via Twitter that the library was making more than 100,000 images available as high-resolution downloads. These represent hundreds of years of, as they say, “visual culture,” now available free of charge.

Many of the images focus on medical and scientific subjects, but I of course had to do a search for horse-drawn vehicles anyway. What the heck, right?

And I found this undated and un-captioned, but undeniably lovely, image …

.

.

While its snowing here, and the streets are a bit icy, how about a rare look inside a horse-drawn ice wagon?

This photo, c. 1925, was taken in New Orleans and also features some really lovely wrought-iron balconies.

.

For today’s study of early roads, here’s a c. 1890s photo of Boston’s North Terminal train station.

This view features a wide variety of, mostly commercial, vehicles … including a “billboard” on wheels. Enjoy!

I’m always receiving news items from CAA members for the association’s weekly e-newsletter. So when I get an email with the subject line “Member e-News,” I usually just file it away until the next Wednesday morning, when I prepare that week’s issue.

When I opened the email from a CAA member in Belgium this morning, I found ten splendid photos. I have room for just one of them in the newsletter, but they’re too gorgeous not to share, so I’m posting them all here.

Here’s the story, as it will appear in today’s newsletter:

“CAA member Patrick Schroven (a carriage restorer in Belgium) wrote to announce that his firm has finished the restoration of their Dress Chariot by Fr. Flack of Vienna. The project took 3,900 hours to complete! Patrick wrote, ‘The carriage is set in our stable colors of cobalt blue with golden yellow, and the panels bear our family coat of arms and crest. The pure silk cloth for the interior upholstery, an exact copy from a royal carriage, was specially woven for us and the matching broadlace is true ‘épinglé’ carriage lace. This is a beautiful example of a late-nineteenth-century state vehicle and a fine addition to our private collection.'”

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

Curious about CAA membership (which includes subscriptions to our magazine, The Carriage Journal, and our weekly e-newsletter)? Visit the CAA’s website to learn more!

I’ll be designing a new set of CAA decals / stickers soon, and I have three vehicles to choose from.

Which one would you vote for: the private Omnibus, the commercial vehicle, or the Omnibus with the luggage rack on top?

.

.

.

.

« Previous PageNext Page »