Conservation and Restoration of Horse-Drawn Vehicles

Now back in print!

This book, first published in 1997, is a must have resource.

The purpose of this book is to help the owner of a horse drawn vehicle conserve and/or restore his vehicle in order to enhance its value or conserve an irreplaceable historical artifact. Conserving and restoring a horse drawn vehicle is a complex undertaking that requires the skills of a wide variety of artisans and craftsman knowledgeable in crafts that are no longer widely practiced or well understood. Any deviation from the materials or structures used in the original design drastically reduce the monetary and historical value of the vehicle. This book, therefore, sets out to define the levels of conservation and restoration, the specific steps involved in restoration, the sources for materials and special tools necessary for the work, and most important, names of some of the craftsmen and artisans skilled in the special talents required to produce excellent results.In addition to the steps involved in conservation and restoration, the book provides some historical background on the design, engineering and manufacture of horse drawn vehicles to help the present owner understand the value of proper conservation or restoration, and gain an appreciation for the ingenuity and brilliant skills the original builders excercised in producing his vehicle.Topics include: Research and Recording; Guidelines for Selecting a Conservator; Conservation Treatment of Horse Drawn Vehicles; Pitfalls of Restoration; Conservation Ethics; Stable and Reversable Materials; Documentation; Carriage Technology; Causes/Prevention of Deterioration; Paint Stabilization; Varnish Cleaning; Varnish Removal; Overpainting; Metal Components; Upholstery; Routine Maintenance; Dusting; Dust Covers; Varnish/Paint Maintenance; Supply Resource List; Technical Examination and Microscopic Analysis of Painted Horse Drawn Vehicles; Recipes for Varnishes; Axles; Wooden Axles; Inspecting the Axles Before Buying and Restoration; Wheels; Patent Wheels; Dish in Wheels; Hubs; Spokes; Rims; Fellowes; Color of Rubber Tires; Springs; Having New Springs Made; Faults in Spring Fixing; Spring Manufacturing; Panels; Natural Wood panels; Brass Bead Molding; Laminating Thin Layers; Painting; Preparing for Painting; Tip for Removing Rusty Screws; Gluing; Sanding; Brush Painting; Striping; Spray Painting; Colors; Scrolling; Ornamenting; Trimming and Stuffing; Floor Coverings; Upholstery; Lamps; Wicker and Cane Work; Imitation Cane Work; Sham-Caning; Drafting; Museums; etc.

Available direct through Amazon.  Click here to take you to the listing.


2020 Lady Whips Calendar


Celebrate the contribution of women to the history of the sport of driving with the CMA’s 2020 Lady Whips wall calendar featuring images from the CMA archives.

-12 Months

-8.5 x 11″ (11×17″ open)

Premium Glossy Paper

-Printed in the USA

$20.00 SALE $15.00 with free shipping.  (Select Calendar/Free Shipping at checkout)


Become a Friend

The Carriage Museum of America relies on the donations of its Friends to continue to fulfill its mission, to serve as an authoritative resource for information, education and research about animal-drawn vehicles and related subjects. Won’t you consider joining this group today? Your tax-deductible donation of $50 would go far towards continuing the work of the CMA.

*Please note that the website automatically adds a shipping fee to your purchase. You will not be charged for this additional fee when your payment is processed.


Research Services

We are happy to help with your research or answer your questions about carriages. After you submit your question, we will contact you within a few days to discuss the details of your research.

Questions requiring less than 15 minutes of research are answered free of charge. If more in-depth research is required, you will be asked to pay a fee of $25 an hour. We will contact you before this research begins.

*Please note that the website automatically adds a shipping fee to your purchase. You will not be charged for this additional fee when your payment is processed.


Copying Services

Please contact the CMA library for more information.


(DVD) Chandler’s Coach Shop: Tools and Techniques with Harley ChandlerPresented by the Carriage Museum of AmericaA Woodshed Media Production © 2009

In December 2008, we spent a day with master coachmaker Harley Chandler in his workshop. Join us as he gives a tour of the projects he was working on that day, as well as the combination of modern and vintage techniques he uses to construct his masterpieces. Chandler’s Coach Shop is located in northern Kentucky, near Cincinnati Ohio and has been in operation since the 1970’s.
73 Minutes


Horse-Drawn Funeral Vehicles19th Century Funerals

This is the most comprehensive book to be published on horse-drawn funeral vehicles, including hearses, undertaker’s wagons, embalmer’s wagons, pall-bearer’s coaches and florist wagons. The book features illustrations, technical drawings, and specifications for these vehicles; histories of various leading hearse manufacturers; information on trimming (lamps, fringes, and hardware) for hearses; and many other topics of related interest. The book is a compilation of materials found in many libraries and private collections. The book also contains a section on 19th century funerals of presidents and prominent citizens and military personnel.

800 illustrations, 414 pages, perfect-bound soft cover. Limited number of copies available.


Two-Wheeled Vehicles for Equine

From the collection of the Carriage Museum of America’s Library, this volume provides a comprehensive compilation of drawings and basic dimensions of two-wheeled horse-drawn vehicles. The main focus in on vehicles dating from 1855 to 1900, from Governess Carts to Curricles. The material is drawn from old trade journals including the Carriage Monthly and The Hub. Each vehicle is illustrated and the text provides detailed comment on style, dimensions for building, color, plus a note on the materials used for trimming. Other helpful materials included are examples of appropriate harness as well as over fifty pages of advertisments dating from 1883-1901.
Originally published in 2000, it has been out of print for a number of years. This is a limited reprint of only 100 copies. Order yours today!
342 pages, soft cover.


Carriage Restoration: Here’s How

Now Available! Published jointly by The Carriage Museum of America and The Carriage Association of America. Newly updated and revised version of a booklet originally published by the CAA in 1983. Includes chapters on preparatory work, carriage painting and striping, carriage trimming, and imitation cane-work for carriage panels.

Softcover, 80 pp, color and b/w pictures.


A Manual of Coaching** ON SALE NOW **

A Manual of Coaching by Fairman Rogers published by the Carriage Museum of America. Limited to 250 copies. 279 pages, b/w illustrations and drawings. This reprinting was made possible through the generosity of Mr. and Mrs. Harvey Waller.

Originally copyrighted in 1899 and published in 1901, it is the “rule book” to which all coachmen worthy of the name strictly adhere. Copies of the original occupy a special place in their owners’ libraries. Recognizing the singular importance of this book, The Carriage Museum of America reprinted it in 2000, and soon sold out entirely. This newly reprinted edition is a very welcome addition to the coaching library and a handbook no real lover of carriages and coaches can ignore.


1904 Carriage Monthly 40th Anniversary Historical Number** ON SALE NOW **

The Carriage Museum of America is pleased to offer this first-time historic reprint. This valuable resource, first published in April 1904, pays tribute to the history of the carriage industry and is filled with advertisements, biographies of significant carriage manufacturers and draftsmen, accounts of key cities and organizations, and a celebration of the magazine’s own history. Publication of The Carriage Monthly spanned a period of great innovation and growth in the carriage-building industry, and this commemorative issue highlights this significant period of development.
500 pages, hard cover. Black and white images throughout.


Springs for Horse-Drawn Vehicles

Springs For Horse-drawn Vehicles, Edited by Susan Green and Don Peloubet published by the Carriage Museum of America. Limited to 250 copies. 254 pages, 9″ x 12″ profusely illustrated. This the first comprehensive book on the subject of springs for the gears of horse-drawn vehicles. Other springs for horse-drawn vehicles might have been for the cushions, tops, and poles, but those were not included in this book. Susan Green and Don Peloubet spent many long hours over a period of several years sorting through advertisements and articles on springs that were published in the old trade journals for carriage builders. In America the first trade journal to be published was the New York Coach-Makers Magazine in 1858, changing its name to The Hub in 1874. A second trade journal was started in Philadelphia in 1865 called the Coach-Makers International Journal, changing its name in 1873 to the Carriage Monthly. After sorting through the material from these two trade journals a second step was to cross reference the material with some 2,009 spring patents issued by the United States Patent Office.


Horse-drawn Military, Civilian, Veterinary Ambulances** ON SALE NOW **

The archives of the Carriage Museum of America has provided the foundation for yet another unique book for horse-drawn vehicles, focusing on ambulances. There have been only a handful of books published about ambulances – some of them being very authoritative treatises.
This book compiles information that was scattered in other publications to make an unique treatise of its own standing. The first section of the book covers the military ambulance focusing on the specifications and drawings that could be found for building such vehicles. In order that civil-war re-enactors can make a complete and authentic turnout the specifications for the harness is included along with the reprinting of the text from the Medical and Surgical History of the War of the Rebellion relating to the history of the ambulance corps.


The Great Blue Army Wagon** ON SALE NOW **

Wagons used and developed by the Quartermaster Department of the U.S. Army were perfected over many years and long miles on the western trail. The Six and Four-Horse or Mule Wagons, as well as the Army Escort Wagon, proved to be such an effective means of transporting supplies, that they saw extensive service well into the Twentieth Century. This exhaustive volume follows the wagons? development from the Revolutionary War through their use in the First World War. The dimensions, drawings, correct paint colors, and harness details that are included make this a valuable addition to the bookshelves of restorers and re-enactors alike.
Author Thomas Lindmier, noted Military and Western Historian, has spent 20 years researching his subject, and has restored a number of these wagons for the National Park Service.
144 pages, soft cover. Black and White photos with some color pages.


Horse-Drawn Cabs

A notebook of historical facts, engineering drawings, construction details and turnouts as they happened in the 19th century. It is divided into four chapters: Specifications and Drawings for Two-Wheeled Cabs, Specifications and Drawings for Four-Wheeled Cabs, Historical Notes and Turnouts.
The two main sources of information for putting together this notebook have been all the drawings and information that could be found in Carriage Monthly published in Philadelphia and The Hub published in New York for the professional carriage builders each month. The two trade journals also reported the news of the international industry, and cabs of France and England are equally represented.


Carriage and Wagon Axles for Horse-Drawn Vehicles

TEMPORARILY OUT-OF-PRINT.  CARRIAGE AND WAGON AXLES FOR HORSE-DRAWN VEHICLES, compiled by the Carriage Museum of America and edited by Don Peloubet. Axle-making techniques blossomed in the second half of the 19th century, at the high point of the carriage trade, following closely the development of wheel-making. This industry saw tremendous changes throughout the period, moving from individual wooden axles handmade by the wheelwright, to iron axles forged by the blacksmith, and finally to lathe-turned axle arms fabricated of iron and steel in factories specializing in axles.
Like its companion, “Wheelmaking,” this book is a compilation of articles on axle making taken from late 19th century journals published in America for the carriage industry. The articles are divided into ten sections: the first is a long, general chapter on the development of axle-making, followed by sections on axle setting, axle manufacturers, patent axles, ball/roller-bearing axles, axle types, lubrications, repair, and tools and equipment. Together they provide the reader with an in-depth look at the evolution of the art and industry of axle-making, and offer tremendous value to those interested in the actual practice of the trade, as well as those interested in the history of this important technology. Profusely illustrated, 250 pages, 9 x 12 soft cover.


Hitch Wagons for City Driving & More** ON SALE NOW **

This is the most comprehensive book of technical information published for Wagons, with the information being compiled from the original professional trade journals of the 19th and early 20th century. It is profusely illustrated with over 500 drawings with a text of precise dimensions to 1/16 of inch, as 19th century wagon builders were highly skilled engineers, mechanics and draftsmen.
The book is divided into seven main chapters, with the first four chapters for fashions, which show a side view and any painting ornamentation, plus the text with dimensions and description.
Chapter 1, City Wagons is a variety of heavy platform wagons: wholesaler’s butchers’ truck, three-ton coal truck, baggage transfer truck, flour and feed wagons, etc.


Manual of Falling Bow Tops for Horse-Drawn Vehicles*Out of Stock*

*We’re Sorry but this Book is Currently Out of Stock*

This is the first comprehensive book on the subject of falling tops, such a book was not even available during the carriage era. The book covers a period from 1860 to 1900 and it is very specific about the different drafting and construction techniques and styles for a certain time period. The subject of curtain fasteners would fill up a book by itself. Due to limited space only the major curtain fasteners were included that were advertised in the trade journals. However, an extensive list of patents for curtain fasteners and tops is included for reference.
In-depth chapters are included for the following types of falling tops: Buggy Tops, Tops for Drop-Front Phaetons, Close Tops (Victorias, Cabriolets, Stanhope Phaetons, Portland Cutters, etc.), Extension Tops, Landau Tops, Landualet Tops. Landau tops are the most difficult tops to make and this book gives detailed illustrations for both the Lohner and Kellner system of hinges.


The Royal Mews** ON SALE NOW **

[Royal Stables in London] Mary Stewart-Wilson, Photographs by David Cripps. 192 pages. Illustrated in color, hardbound. London: The Bodley Head, Ltd. There are 21 chapters, six of which are devoted to a general view of the Mews. They survey the history of the building, current practices, the harness and horse trappings, livery, and the carriages, in general. Fourteen chapters deal with the carriages themselves, a chapter devoted to each one, or to each class of vehicle.
All the famous coaches are included: Queen Alexandra’s State Coach, King Edward VII’s Town Coach, The Scottish State Coach, The Ivory-Mounted Phaeton, The Balmoral Sociable, The 1902 State Landau, and the latest coach to be built, The Australian State Coach of 1988. Here also are the Ascot Landaus, the State and Semi-State Landaus, and the Barouches. The Gold Coach of 1762, stands in the forefront.


Horse-Drawn Vehicles: Colored Plates from The Hub, November 1882 – January 1892**ON SALE NOW**

The Carriage Museum of America is offering the collection of 150 colored plates originally published in The Hub for the first time in a complete collection. This collection of scaled colored plates includes all classes of vehicles from sleighs, victories, broughams, surreys and runabouts to business wagons for draft horses. A text page is included with each plate with dimensions, noteworthy details on construction and commentary of style and fashion.



A Treatise on CarriagesComprehending coaches, chariots, phaetons, curricles and whiskies together with their proper harness.

By William Felton. Mendham, NJ: The Astragal Press, 1996. 554 pages., b/w illustrations of original plates. Reprint from the 1796 and 1794 edition. 720 pages. 60 plates. Hard cover. 6″ x 9″. ISBN 1-879335-70-0.
In the late 18th century, William Felton wrote what has become the most comprehensive and definitive work on design and construction of elegant carriages. As Ron Vineyard writes in his preface, “Felton’s thoughts on what constituted beauty, strength, elegance and style, give us great insight into the level of skills required for such sophisticated work. His Treatise was written with the intended purpose of providing information necessary to the carriage owner.


Collection of Essays on Horse-Drawn Carriages and Carriage Parts

Dr. Gordon S. Cantle, MSc. Tech., MIMechE., The Carriage Museum of America, Inc., 1993. 81 pages. Illustrated with line drawings and diagrams. Covered in coated paper.
The first publication to be offered by The Carriage Museum of America, is the compilation of the innumerable essays and articles written by Dr. Gordon S. Cantle. These have appeared over the years in various magazines, starting with Heavy Horses and Driving, The Carriage Journal, International Horse and Horse & Driving, among others.
Long recognized by carriage enthusiasts for his expertise and thoroughness, Dr. Cantle had found an outlet for his many talents in studying and writing about the technicalities involved in coach building and carriage-making. Some modern carriage builders have found in those articles a solution to many problems as well as explanations, which provided a deeper understanding of the principles and practices upon which the carriage industry relied for integrity.


The Cosons Carriage Collection at BeechdaleEdited by Rodger Morrow with text by Thomas Ryder. 175 pages. Softcover with slipcase.

Printed on art paper, this beautifully produced book illustrates 96 vehicles from the Coson Collection in full color, showing details of decoration and trimming in many instances, with information about each carriage’s history and construction. The book is divided into seven sections, each with an explanatory introduction.
Additional illustrations are photographs of Mr. Coson’s handsome Hackney horses being driven to different carriages in the attractive grounds at Beechdale, making this a most complete record of one of the finest private carriage collections in the world.
This collection is NOT open to the public.


Working Drawings of Horse-Drawn Vehicles266 pages. 8½ x 14-inch three-ring binder.

Working drawings – were considered to be the most useful for building a horse-drawn vehicle, they were usually drawn ¾ inch scale, and the best were drawn using the French or DuPont rule, showing all elevations of the vehicle on the same plane.
Because of the large number of request the Carriage Museum of America receives from people wanting to build full-size vehicles and people wanting to build models the best of 100 working drawings from the two major trade journals has been compiled into a working portfolio.


Horse-Drawn Sleighs – 2nd Edition

Since the first edition of the book “Horse-Drawn Sleighs,” people have been requesting more information on how to build sleighs and the definitions of terms. The second edition includes the following glossaries: parts of an Albany Cutter, parts of the shafts and thills, parts of the body, and a glossary for different types of sleighs. This book includes all of the working drawings for sleighs that could be found in the Carriage Monthly and The Hub, making a total of 250 new illustrations over all for the book.
A new section in the back of the book is “Essays On Early Sleighs and Sleighing,” in which is included as much information that could be found on the very early sleighs, something else people asked about.


WheelmakingWooden Wheel Design and Construction

TEMPORARILY OUT OF PRINT.  Astragal Press, Mendham, NJ. Compiled by the Carriage Museum of America. Edited by Don Peloubet, Wheelwright. 240 pages. 9″x 12″ profusely illustrated. The last half of the nineteenth century marked a huge transition in carriage building-basically, from individual carriage shops to large, industrialized carriage factories. A major factor in this transition was the concurrent change in the manufacture of wheels, from individual wheelwrighting to industrial wheelmaking.
This book is a compilation of articles on wheelmaking taken from late 19th century journals published in America for the carriage industry.


CMA MousepadCMA Mousepad

Featuring  an 19th century print from our collection, our beautiful mouse pad makes a great addition to any office.

Complimentary Shipping on this item (Shipping will be re-calculated after checkout.)


French Harness Greeting Cards

A set of five large high-quality greeting cards (with envelopes) featuring beautiful lithograph’s by Brice Thomas of French designs for harness from the Carriage Museum of America’s archives.  Cards measure 4.5′ x 7″.  Blank Interiors. Envelopes included.