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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 Carriage Association members in California sent me the following story and photos, which I thought y’all might enjoy as well. Thanks, Randy!

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“I work at a family-owned molding / tool shop near San Diego, and the owner is into collecting and driving early automobiles and motorcycles. Occasionally, one of these will wind up at the shop, where we will provide various maintenance or repairs. Recently, he rolled in with his 1915 Pierce-Arrow Limousine, which I had not seen before.”

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car 1

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“Upon looking the car over, one particular item caught my attention. The body on this vehicle had been built by the C. P. Kimball & Co. of Chicago. I have seen a number of Brewster-body cars, but I had never seen a Kimball before.”

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car 2

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“Those of us who are into carriage history are well aware that a number of carriage manufacturers continued on to build bodies for automobiles as the carriage industry dwindled down. Probably the most notable is Brewster building the bodies for Rolls Royce. In that era, you would order an automobile from one of the more high-end automobile manufacturers, and this would consist of a rolling chassis (engine, drive train, fenders, and cowl). It would then be sent off to a coach builder, who would construct the wooden body onto the chassis.

“Although Pierce-Arrow of Buffalo, New York, built their own bodies, this particular vehicle was a special order. In talking with my boss, he informed me that this particular vehicle was ordered by the Kimball family as their personal vehicle. He also mentioned that there are only two of these Limousine-bodied cars in existence (I’m not sure of the boundaries of that statement). The other one is also a 1915 Pierce-Arrow, and who do you think it belonged to? Why, the Vanderbilts of course. It’s always amazing how the people from the carriage era continue to come back to us.”

Guest post from the CMA’s Mindy Groff …

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“Clearance” is not a word I typically associate with antique vehicles. So when I came across a catalog advertising the “Eighteenth Annual Clearance Sale of Seasonable Carriages,” I was intrigued.

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Henderson1

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Henderson2

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This booklet was printed in 1900 by the Henderson Bros. of North Cambridge, Massachusetts. The company was founded in 1856 by John J. Henderson and Robert Henderson. In addition to selling vehicles built by other companies, they also manufactured their own carriages and carriage parts.

According to the opening page, “the purpose of this booklet is to SAVE YOU MONEY, and at the same time reduce our stock quickly. We have reduced the prices on these carriages in some instances to one-third less than what we have been offering them for.” They boast that “we can supply you with any kind of a carriage or wagon that is in common use in this country, and at any price you wish to pay.” The reader is encouraged to “WRITE US NOW” to check availability and place an order. The carriage equivalent, it seems, to buying a used car today.

The vehicles advertised inside do indeed look like bargains. A Brewster Opera Bus, originally priced at $2,600, now reduced to $525. A brand new Break discounted from $2,500 to $650. A six-seat Rockaway for just $185. The booklet is filled with descriptors like “good as new,” “thoroughly renovated,” and “rare bargain.”

If you’d like to view the full listings and see images of the vehicles, you can! We have the original catalog in our library, but it is also available digitally on the Internet Archive, which is a non-profit Internet library. And If you’re not familiar with the Internet Archive, I’d encourage you to check it out further. This is an amazing online resource of digitized books and other printed materials, including many carriage catalogs and texts.

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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blog-BatteryWagon3-201403

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Back in October 2012, at the annual reenactment of the Civil War battle at Perryville (here in Kentucky), A.J. and I met the members of a Tennessee-based horse-drawn artillery unit.

Turns out they host a “horse-drawn artillery school” each spring … and this year’s installment is this weekend. We’ll be there, gathering stories and photos, and probably shouting at each other because, of course, we’ll need to remember to wear our earplugs!

We’re both rather ridiculously excited about this opportunity, and looking forward to sharing photos and stories here on the blog and in an upcoming issue of The Carriage Journal. Stay tuned!

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

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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” …

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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. 

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