We have compiled a number of articles from the trade journals of the day to show the history of Chauncey Thomas, a carriage manufacturer out of Boston, MA. Keep reading to learn more.
“CHAUNCEY THOMAS – BOSTON, MASSACHUSETTS”
The Hub – March, 1877 – page 481
Mr. Chauncey Thomas, one of the leading coach-builders of Boston, has invented and patented what he calls a Cradle-Spring. It resembles the two halves of an elliptic spring reversed, and is claimed to give a much easier ride.
The Hub – February, 1880 – page 480
CHAUNCEY THOMAS, of Boston, Massachusetts, senior member of the firm of Chauncey Thomas & Co., carriage-builders, and second vice-president of the Carriage-Builders’ National Association, was born in Maxfield, Penobscot Co., Maine, on May 1, 1822, both parents being of Plymouth Colony stock. His early life was spent on a farm, where he worked during his boyhood, at the same time making good use of the limited’ opportunities for education offered by a district school, which he attended from the age of five to fifteen, during the summer and winter terms, studying reading, writing, arithmetic and geography. In consequence of his giving evidence of mechanical skill, it was determined by his father that he should learn a trade; and in 1837, at the age of, fifteen, he was, apprenticed to Messrs. Whiton & Badger, “chaise-makers,” of Bangor, Maine, to learn carriage-part and body making. Both partners were excellent mechanics, enjoying a well-merited reputation for thoroughness, and their shop was rich in the traditions of the celebrated carriage factories of John Raynor and Walter Frost, in Boston, where both masters and men had received their training. The conditions of his apprenticeship were to work twelve hours a day for board and clothes, with an occasional dollar or two on holidays for spending money, and to receive instruction for one term at the Apprentices’ School in Bangor.
In those days, work in carriage shops was much harder, as well as more varied than at present. Spokes were worked from rough splits, felloes sawed by hand from the plank, and the jack-plane was in constant requisition. Very little of the modern science of body-making, now known as the French or Square Rule, was then understood, and experience was then chief master of the carriage mechanic. Still, work was conscientiously done, and the result generally satisfactory to both maker and buyer, which can not always be said of carriages built with the help of modern appliances. More or less mystery then hovered over the trade, which was closely guarded by the initiated, and it was only during the last year of his apprenticeship that its secrets were cautiously imparted to him.
Mr. Thomas gives the following account of his success when entrusted for the first time with the construction of a body. “How well I remember my first chaise body. Times were dull, and bodies not wanted ; but I persistently requested an opportunity to show what I could do, and was at last told to go ahead. After sawing and dressing my stock, I asked a question of one of the journeymen regarding the framing, but was told rather crustily to find out for myself. This put me on my mettle, and with eyes wide open I proceeded to work out the problem. I must confess that I did not feel quite, easy in my mind as to the result. However, I succeeded beyond my own expectations, and evidently surprised the bosses as well as the workmen, for from that time forward, as long as I remained in that shop, I occupied the first place as body-maker.”
As the business of Whiton & Badger gradually drifted into wagon and sleigh making, with increasing hard work and insufficient pay, Mr. Thomas left their employ in 1843, and devoted the winter of that year to study in the Apprentices’ School in Bangor. In 1845 he removed to Boston, where: he was engaged by Messrs. Slade & Whiton, then a rising firm of carriage-builders; to whom he had been recommended by his former employers. Here, all varieties of carriages were made, to order, and he was immediately set to work making drawings for customers, and working patterns for the woodworkers and blacksmiths, and was finally given full charge of construction.
Concerning this sudden and unexpected rise in his position Mr, Thomas says: AIt would seem that there must have been a great lack of competent mechanics in those. days, when one so young as I should be pushed forward into a place of so much responsibility. Looking back, I now believe it was altogether in my favor that I learned my trade in a small place like Bangor, for upon going to Boston I was all eyes, feeling my ignorance, and filled with ambition to know all there was to be known. At that time there were many grand old vehicles in Boston, including C-spring chariots, coaches with hammer cloths, and French caleches. These filled me with curiosity and delight; I studied them with the utmost care, sat up nights to make drawings of them and of their parts, and soon began to plan modifications and improvements, and to make new and original designs.
I thus acquired the knack and the habit of putting my ideas into shape on paper, and this early training has ever since proved valuable to me.”
While Mr. Thomas was in the employ of Slade & Whiton, he met with an accident which resulted in a severe injury to one of his knees, and disabled him for two years. His disappointment can readily be understood. He did not lose courage, however, but devoted his time to studying astronomy, geometry, trigonometry; algebra and surveying, and this undoubtedly marked the most progressive period in his mental development, giving him the foundation for that wide and varied information which to-day marks him as one of the best educated members of the trade. His taste for drawing led him at the same time to give considerable study to art matters, and he felt a strong inclination to become an artist; but on recovering from his disability, he returned to his old trade.
In 1851 an opportunity offered for going into business in West Newbury, Massachusetts, on his own account. Here he married in 1854, and returned shortly afterward to Boston, where he has ever since been in active business as a carriage-builder, having his ups and downs like the best of his contemporaries,–sometimes poor, often perplexed, but always coining out of his troubles with an untarnished name, the same enthusiasm for his trade, and the same faith in his ability to command success ultimately. In one of Mr. Thomas private letters to our editor, occurs the following remark, which throws light upon his character: “I can not forget the struggle for existence which I had before gaining a firm foothold, but I suppose it was only such as thousands of others have experience. Still, I take pleasure in thinking that, while I have often suffered from dealings with others, others have not suffered by their dealings with me.”
His present factory is located at No. 103 Chestnut-street, Boston, and was completed in 1876. The main building covers an area of 34 by 100 feet, six stories high, and supplied with steam power and all the, modern improvements, including saws, planers, elevators, power paint-mills, etc. The firm, consisting of Chauncey Thomas, L. B. Nichols, and J. C. Thomas, assumed considerable responsibility in erecting this factory while business was depressed in Boston, but has never had reason to regret it, as trade has continued good. A specially is made of heavy work, the classes of carriages chiefly built being landaus, coaches, coupés, and victorias, all of high grade and nearly all built to order. From thirty to forty workmen are employed, and four forges are kept constantly busy.
It will readily be understood that Mr. Thomas’s mechanical taste and training have stood him in good stead. Not only has he originated many valuable inventions; several of which have been patented, but he has been able to cater to the best class of Boston buyers many of whom resemble the aristocracy of London and Paris in frequently demanding new and original features in their equipages. City builders understand what such orders mean, and they only can appreciate the difficulty of being always equal to the occasion.
NOVELTY AND EXPRESSION IN DESIGN
Lecture by Mr. Chauncey Thomas of Boston.
Hub January 1882. Page 537
Hub February 1882 page 583
Hub March 1882 page 641
[On the evening of Wednesday, December 7th, the Winter Course of Lectures before the Class in Carriage Drafting and Construction, at the Metropolitan Museum of Art Technical School, New-York, was opened by Mr. Chauncey Thomas, the well-known carriage-builder, of Boston, Massachusetts, who delivered an address on the subject of ” Novelty and Expression in Design,” the introductory portion of which is published below.–ED.]
Mr. CHAIRMAN AND GENTLEMEN: Had not non-professionals already been called to address you, some of whom were probably as unused to such tasks as I am, I should hesitate to appear. But as all our knowledge, of whatever nature, is gathered up bit by bit from practical observers and experimenters before it can be formulated and used in a scientific manner; and as our science is not an exact one, but must ever be the reflex of individual thought, what I shall say to you may not be wholly without value. Not long ago, in a good-natured contest with a friend who is an architect, as to whose business was the more arduous, and which demanded the greater measure of ability, good taste and technical knowledge, he seemed amazed at my claim that, to be a good carriage-maker, one must study as hard, work much harder, and possess as great an amount of brains as to be a good architect. “Why,” he exclaimed, “a carriage is but a box on wheels, and what is a wheel?–nothing but a round thing with a hub and spokes!” Very well, Mr. Architect; and your structure is nothing but a box without wheels, and the world itself is but a round ball. If I had here told my friend that to build the best carriage wheel required more experience and more careful consideration than that necessary to build a big block of stores, my offense would have been unpardonable, yet I would not have been far wrong. Not that the wheelwright need be an intellectual giant. What I wish to say is that (he modern light carriage wheel is a marvel of perfection. Forty years ago it was impossible, and its improvement has received an amount of careful study and watchful experiment to adapt it to the great work it has to perform, that very few can understand. It is an embodiment of refined mechanical skill. There is really very little in common between architecture and carriage designing and construction. Architecture has a wonderful history. Scores of costly illustrated books detail all possible forms of structure and ornament ; the experience of ages is epitomized and ready for use. The architect produces new effects by new combinations of well-known elements; he deals mainly in straight lines; he has scope for his originality in grouping, massing, and disposition of parts. The designer of fine carriage work deals in simple forms, mainly in curved lines and rounded surfaces. His duties send him into the domain of pure art, scientific construction and mechanical skill. The faculty of producing graceful curves of the highest character is not a gift that all possess, and requires much cultivation. A proficient in mechanical drawing might not be capable of producing a fine drawing of a carriage; hence, we are in the habit of saying that a good carriage draftsman must be an artist. In addition to that he must have a scientific knowledge of construction, and a large amount of experimental knowledge of the best methods of the construction of the running gear, and the action of its parts. The fine carriage is one of the most beautiful forms that art has ever produced. The body, which is its chief characteristic, must be severely simple in its outline; no excrescences or purposeless ornamentation can be tolerated.
It must have the fewest parts possible, the greatest internal and the least external extension; it must have the greatest possible strength with the least possible weight; and, most of all, beauty of form; and it must also have novelty.
It will perhaps occur to you that the carriage designer, hampered by the conditions just named, would seem to be placed in a straightjacket, where novelty would be a difficult accomplishment. But have we not curved lines to deal with? and can we not infinitely vary the expression of ideas by the use of curved lines? In nature we find certain persistent forms: the blade of grass, the petal of the flower, the trunk, the branches, and the limbs of the forest tree. Each has the same fundamental characteristics as its predecessors, but in all the myriad products of organic nature, every blade of grass, every flower, every tree, and every leaf of the forest, has its individual peculiarities; is both like and unlike its great family connections.
Simplicity of form is no bar to novelty of expression. If you want an example, you have the best of all in the human face. Each and every face in the world has the same kind of features, the same number of prominence and depressions. In the facial outline there are five prominent parts and four intermediate depressions; yet in the variations of these few parts, how great the difference! How quickly we single out any known face from all the others.
Col. T. W. Higginson, when he first recruited his regiment of colored volunteers, said that they all looked alike to him. He very soon, however, began to recognize individuality among them, and eventually came to know each and every one of them. The facial outline is very far from being the whole face, or showing us all its expressions, but it is the easiest part to draw, and the only part we can see in outline, so we will make use of it to illustrate our subject. (Using blackboard.]
Thus we find that every human face, although nature has made them all on the same plan, is a new edition which differs from all the others. Thus we have infinite variety of form and expression, all derived from the variation of the lines of the face. As in nature, so in art. Take the Coach body, with its single curved outline and curved belt-rail. With these two elements we can never have done with making changes. Or the Brougham, with its beautiful Chariot pillar. This is one of the persistent forms that we are never tired of reproducing. The fame of the originator of the Chariot pillar should be equal with that of the designer of the Corinthian capital. It is as expressive as the nose of a beautiful woman.
The belt-rail, the back-pillar and the bottom lines are also principal factors in giving character to the body. The boot, also, although a subordinate part, may be varied much more than the main portion of the body, and is a fascinating point of attach for the draftsman. And here let me say to you, who are to be the future masters of design, never despair of producing original forms; for have we not seen that nature is always variable enough so that everyone of a million has individuality enough to be quickly recognizable?
Go to the blackboard and make your drawing with a fret; hand, and you will be sure to get new results. If you are not pleased with your work, apply the sponge and try again. When you have reached a point in your work where you can see no chance for improvement, you have done all that you can do; for your invention or your perception of the beautiful call go no further. It may not be as good as another can do, but it will possess a certain personality which you have imparted to it. Each designer will have some ideal of beauty which will find expression in his work. Dr. Mitchell, the noted astronomer of Cincinnati, while mapping the stars, found that with different assistants an appreciable difference of time elapsed between noting the star’s passage across the transit instrument, and marking the time of such passage. The phenomenon of a star’s passage is instantaneous, and the time is taken by a touch of the finger; yet, to ascertain the time taken by each individual to do this slight thing, the learned professor instituted a long series of experiments to find what he termed each man’s personal equation. We will borrow this expressive term, and say to you that this “personal equation” gives character to the life of every individual, to all his acts and doings, to his methods of business or pleasure, and to nothing more than to the work of his hands.
ALTHOUGH, as we have shown, there is ample room for originality within certain limits, yet, like the architects, we adhere with great pertinacity to certain persistent forms; most of these are quite old; and many of them of English origin. The Coach, the Chariot, the Cab Phaeton, the Stanhope, the Brougham, etc.,–the elements of all these old forms enter largely into our modern productions. The gentleman’s Drag and the great army of open Carts we must also credit to the Englishman. The Englishman seems to have been the one “to originate new forms, and the Frenchman to refine and beautify them; the English designer makes bold strokes, is original, but often uncouth and crude, while the Frenchman is an artist with a keen sense of the beautiful. The Frenchman’s lines are wonderfully fine and expressive, and the completed carriage seems to have been formed of plastic material, so perfectly is the ideal of the designer realized; while in many English productions something seems to have been conceded to the stubbornness of wood and iron, by which the original conception has been modified.
Among the persistent forms which had a very long lease of life in New England was the Chaise, immortalized by Dr. Holmes. I believe the first of these two-wheel vehicles was imported from England. The famous Curricle was of this form, as well as the Spanish Volante used in Cuba. I know of no form of carriage body which is susceptible of such wide variations. At its best the form is very beautiful; but it may also be quite otherwise. I think it likely that I have, in my younger days, made fifty sets of patterns for this kind of body.
Builders of Chaises differed very widely in their styles, and fashion also demanded material changes. Sometimes the bodies were full and generous in size, with fine sloping front pillars and plump side panels. Sometimes the sides were shortened to the last degree, with little straight-up front pillars, concaved at the bottom, and suggesting, when looked, at from the front, the high cheek-bones and hollow jaws of a starved savage. Sometimes the lines would be weak, bunchy, and uncertain in direction, looking exceedingly sorrowful; and sometimes finely-formed and fair to see. There were also “duster” bodies, and ” fan-tail’ bodies, and bodies with straight brackets, and curved-up brackets, and curved-down brackets; and also box-beaded moldings, and rounded moldings, and chamfered moldings.
I refer to these bygone matters to show you how many changes may be rung on one little chime.
Those were the days of unscientific methods. It might be called the “traditionary period,” when venerable and venerated old patterns, worn and blackened by long use, hung on the wall at the head of the boss’s bench. A few mysterious marks on these old patterns, and a few set gauges in the till of his tool-chest, told how the body was to be framed.
Bodies were framed in the olden time. All joints were by tenon and mortise, and pinned together. Halved joints, fastened were not then thought to be good work. The most expert were regarded as prodigies of skill, and were thought to be crammed with valuable secrets. As boys, we were initiated into the old methods of the “thumb-rule,” most of the boys continuing to, work on the same plan as long as they lived to work at the bench. Many of the methods were wrong, but they were persistently followed, as I will illustrate. For instance, all Coach bodies in those days were flat-sided, and all the fullness of the sides was obtained from the form of the door-pillars and the top-rail. Cant boards were then unknown, and in truth not much needed.
It is a mystery to us now how carriages could have been produced in the olden time, by the old methods, at the prices which were then obtained. For example, an old gentleman, now 80 years old, who was a salesman in his young days, has told me that he used to get $125 for a Chaise and harness. ” This was in Amesbury. On the old shops used often to be seen the sign; “Chaise and Harness Maker,” and to sell a Chaise without the harness was like selling a fiddle without the bow.
These carriages had silver-plated joints and dasher handles, and silver nuts and side-lights. The harness was also silver-mounted. When you consider that both the body-maker and the carriage-part maker , took their stock in the rough plank and cut it out by hand, and that the wheelwright was simply given a pile of huge splits for spokes, and a plank from which to saw his felloes, the price named seems to us quite incredible. I suspect that a solution of the problem would show that the men worked very hard, worked about fifteen hours a day, and received very small pay; and that the bosses got very little more than the men. These pictures of the past, which old men with good memories love to revert to, are useful in showing us the changes which have taken place in the past fifty or sixty years; and many suggestive hints are contained in them.
I do not propose in this short address to discuss the matter of carriage-parts, which are subordinate parts so far as the style of the carriage is concerned, although, of course, by no means subordinate in real importance; for the body and all its belongings, although the principal feature of the carriage, gives us much less anxious care and painstaking than the machine on which it is mounted. Volumes might be written on running gears without exhausting the subject,–even though the modern patent spring Side-bar Wagons, by which so many fortunes are being made, were left out altogether. Whoever enters the drafting-room with any hopes of success must be well grounded in the matter of running gears and their practical working. I have spoken of the running gears as being subordinate to the body in giving character and style to the vehicle; still the proper hanging of the body and the disposition of the supporting parts has much to do with the good or bad effect of the whole structure.
None of us are wise enough to foresee what the future has in store for us. We are always disposed to regard the present time as about what it should be, and to look upon the past as belonging to the dark ages. Old fashions look very queer sometimes, we must admit; but the present styles, which we now admire so much, will shortly give place to the inevitable change which is soon to come. Changes we must have all the time, more or less radical; but what they will be, who can guess?The unexpected always happens, but we must wait and see.
The improvement in American carriage work has been very great in the past twenty-five years, partly due to our greater familiarity with foreign models, and also largely due to the increased wealth of the country and the greater demand for fine work. The next quarter of a century will probably show us a vast increase in the magnitude of our business, for the prosperous millions of the next generation will make good customers. Fashion will no doubt banish many of our most cherished forms, and demand new ones. Your opportunities, pupils of the Technical School, are to cater to wants and fancies of these coming millions, and if you can do so you will be well employed.
Those who have acquired a knowledge of designing by the slow and unscientific method of self-teaching must ever labor at a great disadvantage, as compared with those who have the good fortune to receive the benefits of this thorough course of instruction.
Technical education seems to enlarge the faculties. During a late visit to a large manufactory of stained glass, I was admiring the new patterns of stained and cut glass. ” Ah,” said the partner, ” if the old proprietor were alive to-day, who died ten years ago, he would not know the business, so great is the improvement.” “You see,” he continued, “we used to depend on our old hands for designs, and we thought them good; but now we have the boys from the Institute of Technology, and the old men are nowhere!” ” This is rather hard on the veterans,” he added, ” but the old men never had the training that the boys are getting to-day, and must of necessity give way to young blood and good training.”
As a sign of the times, clearly showing how important this matter of scientific training in the technical schools is regarded by the business community, I may say that the Boston school, though crowded to its utmost capacity, cannot furnish graduates half fast enough to fill the situations waiting to receive them. Of course the most gifted get the best places, and it will be the same with you. The manufacturers cannot do without you, when you are sufficiently advanced to fill the places that will be waiting for you.
There are two kinds of copyists that annoy those who make designs; namely, the servile copyist and the exaggerator. The former carefully reproduces, as nearly as he can, your new design; and the other, when he sees it, says to himself, “Aha! I can beat that! I’ll show’em style!” So, if you made fuller lines, he puffs them out still more, and if you have flatted them he makes them nearly or quite straight, sometimes making the bottom lines of a Brougham look like a cow-catcher or a plow.
It is greatly to be hoped that this School of ours, now so well established, will develop sufficient talent to relieve us from the necessity of copying foreign designs, by producing designers of our own, quite as artistic, yet having characteristics peculiar to ourselves and better adapted to the wants of our citizens; and I confidently predict that eventually we shall cease to look abroad for novelty in heavy work.
WE are occasionally greatly aided in producing novelties by our customers. A gentleman will sometimes come to you who is possessed of very peculiar notions. He can find nothing to please him, and so, after getting his ideas as far as possible, you prepare for him a number of sketches. In such efforts to please a customer one often makes a decided hit, and something good may come out of it for you, or it may be such that your customer enjoys a complete monopoly of the new style. The benefit is, that the demand for something new puts us to the trial. I am inclined to think that more new things have been brought out in this way than any other, for with an order from a wealthy and liberal patron to do our best, we have an excellent opportunity to raise the standard of our work which we should be short-sighted not to improve.
I would by no means urge you to be always striving for novelty, for this tendency is easily carried to excess. Of course, one style, however fine it may be, cannot last long, and we must continually make changes, but we need not strive for startling effects, but rather for new beauties, by giving our old forms a new expression.
If it were my place to advise you on what to concentrate your best energies, I should say, after your geometry and drafting lessons, then turn to free-hand drawing. Next, I should advise another course of free-hand drawing, and third, still a little more free-hand drawing. This might be a habit rather than a study, and need not occupy much of the time so precious to you in your technical studies; but you should become perfect masters of the pencil, so that your thoughts may be expressed with the utmost facility. It is related of Michael Angelo that when an important work was in contemplation in the Roman capital a messenger was sent to him asking him to send the authorities a sample of his drawings, that they might judge of his merits. He seized the pencil, and with one sweep of his master hand described a circle so true that the dividers could detect no deviation from a perfect curve. “Show them that!” he exclaimed, proudly. “This is a sample of my ability.”
Some men, who claim to be very practical, object to taking the time of students to teach them to make pictures. This is very much like the cry of the old-time farmers against “book larnin’.” I would have you make a picture of every object that you can find time to draw. Object-drawing trains the hand to do the bidding of the will, and trains the eye to observe all forms correctly, and to appreciate beauty in all things. Do this, and your designs will blossom with new beauty; and you will generally find that the practical man, who dislikes to have you learn so idle a thing as picture-making, will be very glad to borrow them from you without credit, thus paying you an unintentional compliment.
I cannot but think that the sending out of the graduates of this school among the carriage-builders of the country will have the effect of preventing, to a very great extent, the servile copying system now so common in our trade. Men who are fully competent to make good designs scorn to copy each other, and it is only those who can originate nothing who steal everything. Each large manufactory should have its own individual styles, and have pride enough to maintain a little personality in its work by which it may be recognized; and if each of the large builders should employ really competent draftsmen this result would be almost sure to follow. This is a consummation devoutly to be wished for, by which all would be benefited, and many relieved from a great annoyance.
The future of our business is by no means discouraging. The country is now on the flood-tide of prosperity, vast interests are being rapidly developed, and the wealth of the community is being vastly increased in all sections of the country. Wealth brings refinement and good taste in due time, and good taste demands fine carriages; and as nobody wants an article just like his neighbor, we always have opportunities for making changes.
It lies with you, young gentlemen, to give us such novelties in the near future, and such fine new styles of such exquisite beauty and perfection, that American carriages will be sought for in all parts of the world. (THE END.)
Plate No. 78. SEDAN CAB.
Hub January 1885.The increasing demand for public cabs is at present stimulating the inventive genius of many American manufacturers, and the latest novelty in this line is the one illustrated in the accompanying Fashion Plate, for both drawing and dimensions of which we are indebted to the inventor and patentee, Mr. Chauncey Thomas, of Boston, Massachusetts, who is now constructing a number of cabs of this new and striking pattern.
In this design the driver’s-seat is introduced in front of the body, instead of at the rear as in the Hansom Cab, which cannot but be considered preferable in many respects, and particularly because it gives the driver better control of his horses. The entrance is at the rear, which is another improvement over the Hansom Cab, on the grounds both of convenience and safety.
The seat for the passengers is divided into two parts, which are hinged to the sides, and, when let down into place, form a continuous cross seat-board, allowing the occupants to face frontward, as in an ordinary Coupé. When the door is opened for entrance or egress, the two sections of the seat are raised. At this point the question naturally arises whether the door, when closed, can be considered a secure rest for the backs of passengers. Mr. Thomas assures us that there is no danger to be feared from this source, as the door is secured by three different methods, including a patented device placed near the bottom of the door, which effectually prevents accidental opening.
The tinted portion on the side of the body represents a recess, which sets in 2 inches from the molding. The driver’s-seat is brought as close as possible to the body. The center of the body in front has an upholstered back, the width of the driver’s-seat; and the remaining space on either side, from there to the coupé-pillar, is filled by a light. The axle is cranked about 10 inches, thus allowing plenty of space for the settling of the body. The springs rest on a solid bracket or flap, 5 inches from the top of the axle.
An original device, and, we think, a good one, is attached to the bottom of the driver’s-seat and shafts, for balancing the body to suit varying loads and in ascending or descending inclines. This may be briefly described as follows:
The shafts, as will be noticed, are fastened at the front end of the spring to an elongated shackle extending from the spring-head. Two iron stays, each forming a prong at the shaft-bar, are fastened to a spring in front of the shaft-bar. These stays are connected to a lever, which is fastened to an iron bar running across the body. The iron bar rests in sockets, which are bolted to the bottom of the body. The vertical rod on the outside of the body, which operates the cross or horizontal rod and the levers, has a thread near the bottom end, and passes through a cylinder, also provided with a thread. Another iron is fastened to the top of the driver’s-seat, forming an eye on the outside, through which the perpendicular rod passes. By causing the outside rod to move in an upward direction, the short lever outside of the body follows the movement of the rod, and turns the cross rod, which, in turn, causes the short lever on the inside of the boot to make a downward movement. The iron stays are connected with the lever, and the shaft bars follow the movement, and press on the shafts. The shafts are held in position in front by the horse, and in a pivot at the spring, which will result in causing the body to elevate in front. By the use of this ingenious contrivance, the body can always be balanced or kept on a level. For a better illustration of this device, we introduce here a special cut, wherein A represents the vertical rod; B, the handle; C, the cylinder; D, the outside short lever; E, the end view of the cross rod; F, the inside short lever; and G, the stays connecting the shafts with the lever.
Dimensions. Width of body, back, 46 inches. Width of sunken back, 42 inches; width of boot, 24 inches. Height of wheels, 4 feet 6 inches, without the tire. Depth of rims 1 7/8 inches. Size of spokes, 1 3/4 inches. Thickness of spokes at square end, 1 1/4 inches. Number of spokes, 14. Stagger of spokes,1/ 2 inches. Hubs, 6 1/2 inches diameter. Front bands, 4 1/2 inches. And back, 5 3/4inches, inside diameter. Length of front bands, 2 1/4 inches. Length of hubs, 8 1/2 inches. Tire, 1 5/8 x 1/2 inches.
The side-springs are 42 inches long, from out to out, with 3 1/2, inches set over all. Width of steel, 1 3/4 inches. Number of plates, six, namely : the first three No. 2, and the last three No. 3 steel. The length of the cross-spring is 44 inches over all, with 6 inches set over all. Width of steel, 1 3/4 inches. Number of plates, six, namely: the first four No. 2, and the last two No. 3 steel. Axles, 15/8 inches. Track, 5 feet, from out to out.
Finish. Painting of the lower quarters and door panels, dark blue; and upper quarters, upper doors, recess boot panel and moldings, black. The moldings are striped with a fine line of Naples yellow. Running gear, dark blue, with two narrow stripes of Naples yellow.
Trimming, blue French skins, and blue carpet. The top is sheathed with cherry. Mountings, brass.
Chauncey Thomas, Boston, Massachusetts.
Carriage Monthly November 1889 page 238
CHAUNCEY THOMAS, Boston, Massachusetts.–Coach and rockaway side, showing the Thomas patent open side. This radical improvement in carriages is thus described: When the sides are thrown open it is a perfect summer carriage, being completely open to the air, and affording an unobstructed view on either side while the top is always fit position for shade or shelter. If the winds are too fresh, the exposed side can be closed, while the opposite remains open. If it is necessary to completely close the carriage, it can be done in less than two minutes. All who have used the landau or landualet need not be reminded how quickly the shrinking leather top draws the wood-work out of shape, and how constantly the many joints need repairs. In this new system, the front and rear portion, with the roof, have the same strength and permanence of any coach or brougham, thus affording to the movable parts a rigid outer framework, which serves to keep them all fit exact position.
Novel Written by a Carriage-builder.
Hub March 1891 page 955
THE CRYSTAL BUTTON.
The marvelous discoveries and inventions of the last half-century have sent men’s imagination into the future, to shape the material and moral condition and state of humanity centuries hence. Mr. Chauncey Thomas has done this, and gives us the result of his imaginative explorations in a striking story entitled “The Crystal Button.”
He reaches forward three thousand years, and found very wonderful contrivances for the comfort and convenience of men: air-ships, railway, trains of almost incredible speed, and electricity so well understood and controlled as to be perfect for light and motive power, steam obtained from the heat of the sun s rays, hydrogen, procured from water, as the chief article of fuel, and many other things quite as remarkable.
The moral atmosphere of the community may be inferred from, the prevalent influence of the great Order of the Crystal Button, whose central principle was Ato be true and honest in every act, word and thought.” Naturally, under this principle, character outweighed wealth or station, monopolies died out, labor questions were gradually settled, and, in short, peace on earth and good-will among men prevailed.
One great charm of this story is the natural adjustment of the miraculous achievements to causes which are in operation now and here. The beneficent result is no prodigy, but the inevitable outcome of the orderly development and extension of forces with which we are all more or less acquainted.
HOUGHTON, MIFFLIN & Co., Publishers. February 1, 1891. 4 Park Street, Boston, Mass.
Readers of The Hub are likely to take a special interest in the above-named novel, for the reason that its author is a carriage builder, and one still in active service, namely: Mr. Chauncey Thomas, of Boston, Massachusetts who has occupied a prominent position as one of the leaders of the trade for upwards of a quarter-century past. So far as we are aware, this is the first time any carriage-builder has ever disclosed himself to the public eye as a writer of fiction, but the trade has reason to be proud of this first manifestation. The scheme of the story forming the nucleus of “The Crystal Button” is briefly as follows. Paul Prognosis, a skilled mechanic; while rescuing a workman who has fallen from a bridge, receives an injury to his brain which, for the succeeding ten years, renders him oblivious to all persons and things in the material world, although, there is no external evidence of injury and his general health continues good. During this period, he lives in an ideal world of fancy, where all mechanical possibilities that he had previously forecast or even vaguely imagined appear to be realized. These are described in detail and with a vividness that compels the sympathy and interest of the reader as he follows the delighted visitor in excursions through the wonder-city, of Tone. The carriage builder will no doubt be chiefly interested in the chapters describing “The Underground Railway,” “The Pyramids,” AThe Air-Ship,” “The Trans-Continental Railway,” “Mount Energy,” and AThe Solar Steam-Works,” and also in incidental references to the disuse of horses in all cities and the substitution of electricity as a motive, force for propelling pleasure vehicles.
As will be observed, the plan of the work closely resembles that of Mr. Edward Bellamy’s “Looking Backward,” but it deals chiefly with mechanical rather than social and economic questions, and thus serves to, fill out the picture which Mr. Bellamy has so attractively sketched; and, as explained in the preface, it, was written during the years 1872-78, long before the production of “Looking Backward,”
The atmosphere of the book throughout is eminently cheerful and stimulating and we recommend it as well worth careful study by both workmen and manufacturers who are not averse to being amused as well as instructed.
The Story of Inca Rocca.
Hub August 1891.
Is the title to a volume of poems by Chauncey Thomas, the Boston coach maker, whose Crystal Button won for him a position among the literati.
The poem is based upon legendary Peruvian history, told in a charming, easy style, of the first of the Incas, Great Manco Copac and his life, and how
” This celestial pair, The son and daughter of the sun and moon, Descended upon Titicaca’s isle.”
How by peaceful industry a nation grew, until envy attracted the barbarous neighbors, and how, when all seemed lost, Inca Rocca beat back the foes, and again restored peace and happiness.
The initial poem is followed by several short ones, one of which, Lines to My Jack Plane, written in 1858, will be appreciated by woodworkers. The book is ” Dedicated to the memory of my friend George Houghton.”
LINES TO M Y JACK PLANE.
(WRITTEN IN 1858.)
WELL, Jack, my lad, you’re growing old,
You bear the marks of age,
Your story soon will be all told,
But courage, Jack, you long shall hold
A place on memory’s page.
You’ve many a sad mark on your face,
And bruise upon your front;
But in life’s crowding, scrambling race,
And ours had been no ambling pace,
We’ve always borne the brunt.
We have had to rough it, you and I ;
The work that we have done
Hath worn us down a little, Jack,
But those who follow in our track
May glide more smoothly on.
What though in contact with the world,
In pushing on, my lad,
You are so scarred, and bruised and worn
And of your pristine beauty shorn;
Should these thoughts make you sad ?
‘Tis only on the surface, Jack,
You’re sound and clean at heart;
‘Tis but the grosser sort of clay,
That time doth from us wear away ;
He leaves the better part.
Wouldst have thy shining youth again?
Nay, nay, no more would I.
We ask not time to lead us back,
But stoutly marching forward, Jack,
We’ll grant to age no sigh.
Then push along, my worthy friend,
While life spins out its thread,
There’s little time for rest, or rust,
Until the sentence, ” dust to dust ”
Is written o’er thy bed.
Hub September 1892.
B Buggy Y. SCALE, 2 IN. TO THE FOOT.
(See Fashion Plate No. 32.)
For the design illustrated by Fashion Plate No. 32 together with the description, we are indebted to Geo. W. McNear, with Chauncey Thomas & Co., of Boston, Massachusetts.
Although nothing is strikingly new in this design it is light and pleasing in appearance yet substantial in construction and is well adapted for the physician’suse, as it is warm and comfortable and there is ample box room for carrying necessaries. The top is three bow, open, provided with side curtains, made to knob on. The construction of the body is simple and similar to that of a Stanhope body. It is suspended on two elliptic springs, and has a straight drop reach.
Dimensions of Woodwork.–Width of body on top, 31 2 in.; and at bottom, 30 2 in. Width of seat on top, 41 in.; and at bottom 35 in. Length of body, 4 ft. 8 2 in. Height of body, 12 in. Height of wheels: front, 44 in.; and rear, 48 in. Depths of rim, 1 1/8 in. Size of spokes, 1 1/8 in. Number of spokes, 14 and 14. Stagger of spokes, 1/4 in. Front and rear hubs, 3 2 in. diameter, and 6 2 in. long. Front bands for hubs, 2 1/4 in. diameter and 2 in. long. Back bands for hubs, 2 7/8 in. diameter, and 7/8 in. long. Distance between wheels, from center to center of axles, 61 in.
Dimensions of Ironwork.–Front spring, elliptic, 35 in. long, from center to center, with 7 2 in. opening on main leaf. Width of steel, 1 1/4 in. Number of leaves, four, namely: Nos. 2,. 3, 4 and 4 steel. Holes apart on top half, 3 2 in. Size of holes, 3/8 in. Rear springs, elliptic, 37 in. long, from center to center, with 8 2 in. opening on main leaf. Width of steel, 1 1/4 in. Number of leaves, four, namely: Nos. 2, 3, 3 and 4 steel. Perch, 7/8 x 7/8 in., plated with 1/4 in. iron. Axles, front and rear, 15/16 in. Tire, 7/8 in. Track, front and rear, measured outside to outside on the ground, 4 ft. 8 in.
Diameter of fifth wheel, 12 in. Weight of vehicle, complete, about 350 lbs.
Painting.–Body, black, with green panels: Gearing, green, striped with broad lines of black, edged with fine lines of white or yellow. Trimming.–Green goat skin. Mountings, silver.
Plate No. 70. Three Spring Stanhope Buggy.
Hub March 1892 page 568.
SCALE, 2 IN. TO THE FOOT.
For the design and description of Fashion Plate No. 70, we are indebted to Messrs. Chauncey Thomas & Co., of Boston, Massachusetts It represents that of a large and roomy buggy. This buggy is suitable for business purposes or gentlemen’s driving. The body should be substantially made. The construction is similar to that of the ordinary Stanhope phaeton. The body is suspended on three elliptic springs, the gear having a straight reach. There are two lights in the rear, namely, one in each back stay, and a center curtain to roll up. Dimensions of Woodwork.–Width of body on top, 16 2 in. Width of seat on top, 23 2 in.; and at bottom, 20 in. Length of body, 4 ft. 5,4 in. Height of body, 12 2 in.; ditto seat, 10 2 in. Height of wheels: front, 41 in.; and rear, 47 in. Depths of rim, 1 3/8 in. Size of spokes, 1 3/8 in. Number of spokes, 12 and 14. Stagger of spokes, 1/4 in. – Front and rear hubs, 4 2 in. diameter, and 7 in. long. Front bands for hubs, 3 in. diameter, and 2 in. long. Back bands for hubs, 3 2 in. diameter, and 7/8 in. long. Distance between wheels, from center to center of axles, 63 in.
Dimensions of Ironwork.–Front spring, elliptic, 36 in. long, from center to center, with 8 in. opening on main leaf. Width of steel, 1 3/8 in. Number of leaves, 4, namely : Nos. 2, 2, 3 and 4 steel. Holes apart on top half, 4 in. Size of holes 3/8 in. Rear springs, elliptic, 38 in. long, from center to center, with 8 2 in. opening on main leaf. Width of steel, 1 3/8 in. Number of leaves, 4, namely: Nos. 2, 3, 3 and 4 steel. Perch, 1 1/4 X 1 1/4 in., plated with 5/16 in. iron. Axles, front and rear, 1 1/8 in. Tire, 1 1/8 in. Track, front and rear, measured outside to outside on the ground, 4 ft. 8 in.
Diameter of fifth-wheel, 15 in. Weight of vehicle, complete, about 435 lbs.
Painting.–Body and gearing, green, striped with two fine lines of yellow.
Trimming.–Green goat skin. Mountings, silver.
Plate No. 115. Thomas Trap.
Hub November 1894.
Designed and built by Chauncey Thomas & Co., Boston; Massachusetts.
Scale 2 inch to the foot. FASHION Plate No. 115, represents one of the neatest of the many traps put upon the market; neat in form, compact in appearance, and yet roomy and comfortable. It is fitted with the now well-known Thomas tilting front seat, which tips forward the dasher to give access to the rear seats. The back seat is by a very simple arrangement thrown forward and downward, by pushing forward the hinged back which falls flat upon the cushion, forming a deck panel. The operation of the working parts of the front and rear seats are instaneous and the construction is so simple that there is small chance of disarrangement or wear.
Dimensions of Woodwork.–Width of body on top, 41 2 in., and at bottom, 34 3/4 in.
Length of body, 6 ft. 2 in. Height of body, 24 3/4 in. Rocker plates, 2 1/4 x 3/8 in., fastened by No. 18, 1 1/4 in. screws. Height of wheels: front, 36 in., and rear; 48 in. Depths of rim, 1 1/4 in. Size of spokes, 1 1/4 in. Number of spokes, 12 and 14. Stagger of spokes, 1/4 in. Front hubs, 4 2 in. diameter, and 7 in. long. Front bands for front hubs. 3 in. diameter, and 2 in. long. Back bands for front hubs, 3 1/4 in. diameter, and 3/4 in. long. Rear hubs. 4 2 in. diameter, and 7 in. long. Front bands for rear hubs, 3 in. diameter, and 2 in. long. Back bands for rear hubs, 3 2 in. diameter, and 3/4 in. long, Distance between wheels, from center of axles, 59 in.
Dimensions of Ironwork.–Front springs, 39 in. long, front center to center, with 8 in. opening on main leaf. Width of steel, 1 2 in. Number of leaves, five, namely: Nos. 2 and 3 steel. Holes apart on top half, 4 in. Size of holes, 3/8 in. Rear springs, 37 in.. long; front- center to center, with 7 in: opening on main leaf. Width of steel, 1 3/8 in. Number of leaves.- four, namely: No. 3 steel. Holes apart on top half, 3 2 in. Size of holes, 3/8 in. Perch, 1 1/4 x 1 1/4 in., plated with 5/16 in. iron. Axles, front and rear, 1 1/8 in. Tire, 1 in. Track, rear, pleasured outside to outside on the ground, 4 ft. 8 in. Track, front, measured outside to outside, 4 ft, 8 in. Diameter of fifth wheel, 12 in. Weight of vehicle complete, about 375 lbs.
Painting.–Gear, light bronze green; body, black; slats, light bronze green; and upper panels dark green; stripe of Malori green.
Trimming.–Gear, light bronze green, striped with one line of Malori green, and two of black.
Drab Bedford cord on whip cord. Black leather welts.
Obituary Chauncey Thomas
Hub November 1898.
Chauncey Thomas carriage builder of Boston, Massachusetts, died at his residence at Roxbury on Nov. 8, in the 77th year of his age. Mr. Thomas had been in poor health for some time but was able to be at the factory nearly every day up to Saturday, the 5th inst., but the nature of his trouble (heart disease) made his friends aware of the fact that he was liable to drop off at any moment. In the death of Mr. Thomas there has passed away another of the eminent carriage builders of the old school, it skilled mechanic, a draftsman and designer of more than usual genius and good taste. A successful manufacturer, a student and a writer, whose works evidence deep thought; a man of sterling integrity, intelligence and worth. Unobtrusive but genial, he surrounded himself with friends who will deeply mourn his loss.
He was born in Maxfield, Maine, on May 1, 1822; his early life was spent on a farm, and his education was such as he could get at the public schools. In 1887, at the age of 15 years, he was apprenticed to Whiton & Badgor, “chaise makers,” of Bangor, Maine, to learn the woodwork branch of the business. Owing to business changes he left the employ of the firm in 1843, and studied one winter in the Apprentices’ School, in Bangor. He moved to Boston in 1845, where he worked for the firm of Slade & Whiton. His skill soon brought him to the front. Meeting with an accident which disabled him for two years, he devoted his time in studying astronomy, geometry, trigonometry, algebra and surveying, a course of study which laid the foundation for that wide and varied information which has made him notable as one of the best educated men in the carriage trade.
He returned to the carriage industry in 1851, going into business for himself in West Newbery, Massachusetts. In 1854 he moved his business to Boston, where he continued to conduct it until the time of his death. In a letter to the former editor of THE HUB Mr. Thomas said: “I cannot forget the struggle for existence which I had before gaining a foothold, but I suppose it was only such as thousands of others have experienced. Still I take pleasure in thinking that while I have often suffered from dealings with others, others have not suffered by their dealings with me.” Mr. Thomas made a close study of the carriage business and invented many valuable improvements.
He catered to the high grade trade and maintained a most excellent reputation. He was a prominent member of the Carriage Builders’ National Association and of the Massachusetts Charitable, Mechanics Association, in which he served as a member of its board of government.
Death of Chauncey Thomas.
Hub December 1898 page 620
At a meeting of the carriage makers of Boston, held on Nov. 10 to take action on the death of Mr. Chauncey Thomas, the following resolutions were unanimously adopted:
Whereas our friend and associate has been taken suddenly from our midst by death, be it resolved,
That in his death we have lost a true friend and genial companion, whose kind disposition and unassuming manner endeared him to his immediate associates and made him respected by all who knew him, a citizen of high character and undoubted integrity, ever ready to help the needy and uplift the downtrodden.
Be it resolved:
That in his death the carriage trade has lost one of its brightest and best men, whose genius has done much to raise carriage making to a high standard as a trade, and for more than 40 years of business career always striving for the best. And although a business man, yet his writings both in prose and verse show the intellectual acquirements of the deceased. He took a deep interest in the affairs of the city and state and country. Be it further resolved: That we extend to his family our deepest sympathy in the loss of a kind and devoted husband, a tender and loving father, hoping that even in the sadness of their afflictions they may find some consolation in knowing that the worth of his private qualities and the value of his public life are fully appreciated.
Working Drawing of Curricle Body.
January 1899 Part I of curricle designed by Chauncey Thomas.
Scale, 1 1/4 inch to the foot.
The drawing given this month is worked out in detail, so as to show comprehensively the result which will follow, when we obtain the curved surfaces of the side by this system, these curves are contacted in length parallel to the side-sweep d, d, Fig. 3, and inclined in their heights parallel to the turnunder curve a, Fig. 4. Fig. 3 shows the projection in plan, determined by given conditions, whose length and width are established by the generating curve of the turnunder and sidesweep. Fig. 2 shows the projection in elevation and the results which follow the method of first obtaining the points of width and their trace in plan, generated by the horizontal and vertical curves of the side. The width which we desire for the body at arm A and elbow G; Fig. t, is that which determines the curve of the sidesweep, its contraction and consequently its direction and its position on the horizontal plane. and when this is complied with, according to the rules, then the vertical curve is to be considered, the line a, Fig. 4, is projected upon the vertical plane, according to the contraction of the horizontal curve, and is determined by this generator, and as mentioned above, that in order to show it, elaborate drawings are necessary. The intention is to make this drawing and accompanying explanation of value to the body maker, and worthy of his study, and at the same time comprehensible to the younger members of the craft. To do this, it is necessary to first explain the first principles of delineation, as practiced in modern schools of technical training. The working draft will be better appreciated if the primary conditions were first understood.
The surface upon which we construct the drawing is straight horizontally and vertically, a straight line separating them is their intersection. A point of the side elevation is a given point, it may be moved in a horizontal or vertical direction to any distance, every other point in either plane must be stationed diametrically opposite the point given on the side, a point on the side determines the height of that point on the vertical plane in the end elevation, and also its width in either the horizontal or vertical elevations. A surface may be conceived as traced or generated by a line in motion, a line defines the limits of that surface, hence it is an edge, it is the angle of the intersection of two surfaces. A point of projection is that point which determines the width of that height in either plane; these are the fixed conditions which exist from principal causes, they are not subject to our will, they remain fixed, being based upon science and reason.
We first draw the side, Fig. 1. It is the finished length and height of the body, and since the taste which modern ideas engender tend to the beautiful in form, side surfaces are curved in both directions. The wing, pillar B, is the central position from which the curves radiate; its inclination, in Fig. 4, shows that its top end must intersect the sidesweep at A; Fig. 3 we make the point, and call particular attention thereto.
The point which we wish the sidesweep to touch, the tangent H, is at the heel of the pillar B, in the vertical line F, Fig. 4, at the point U, Fig. 3. The width of the finished body to be 48 inches, we, therefore, fix the center 24 inches from the straight line H. Fig. 3, in a parallel line y, describing a round curve to the side, the width at the elbow d is fixed at 32 inches, a distance from center, of 19 inches, and lay down this curve from d, to U, and from U, cutting d, draw the oblique lint to W, then with P, as center, and G, as distance, draw the arc M, touching the base xx, and through this point draw the right line intersecting at W, and where this line cuts the straight line z, the height of the elbows, Fig. 1, in the point L, Fig. 2, will be the angle of the turnunder a, a, Figs. 4 and 2. These two points are then connected with the curve of the side-sweep pattern, and give the turnunder of the side of the body, the two curves being alike, they correspond to each other, and also stand at right angles to each other. To prolong the sidesweep, so that the side surface may be projected from these two curves, we proceed as follows: Establishing the width of the bottom side at elbow, at 1 2 inches, from d, to e, Fig. 3, which is parallel to the center y, in the straight line f, e, the width of the bottomside at toe is fixed at 1 2 inches, to the point v, and if we draw the horizontal line v, Fig. 1, from the bottom of toe, to the straight line F, Fig. 4, and on that line take the distance F, a, and set this out from v, to d, Fig 3, we, have the point of projection sought, to which we prolong the sidesweep, in a regular well-turned, curve. The inside of the bottomsides will then be parallel, the shoulders of the crossbars will be of equal lengths, and the curves, which are traced on the horizontal planes, thus projecting from the sidesweep and turnunder, but by a different method than that which we have been accustomed to follow.
We will first deal with the problem of developing the curved lengths of the wing pillar and the projection which its curved edges will cast upon the horizontal plane. To make this pillar according to the draft, two patterns are required; it cannot be made from the outlines of the finished side of the body, nor from the turnunder of the line a, Fig. 4, as the pillar must be lengthened to meet the height which the two inclinations require. If we take the point A, of the side and move this to the line a, Fig. 4, and from the point t, as center, arc this point, to the perpendicular J, and then again across to the side in the point g, on the straight line A, we will obtain the height of the side of the pillar, and if we station several points on the curved edge of this pillar as given upon the line R, and from the points produce vertical lines, and carry each point across to the curve a, Fig. 4, and arc each point to its perpendicular, and from this intersection with J, again moved across to the side intersecting each vertical line as here shown, we will obtain points through which we pass the trace K, and the height of the wing pillar at each point, raised according to the inclination of the turnunder of the pillar, and if we then draw the chain r, from z, at the bottom to g, at the top, we will have the angle, the height and the size of the pillar, to which dimensions we then make the pattern for the side shape of the pillar, hence the line K, and the line r, give the size of the pattern that will be required to make the finished pillar, as shown on the side. Evidently, this same method must be applied to the other position, in order to obtain the pattern for the length and for the curve, to which we must dress the side surface, in order that the pillar will, when framed in, and set up, be of the same round as that of the line a, Fig. 4. If this is not done, then vertical lines must be drawn across the side of the pillar, as the dotted line from f, to f, Figs. 1 and 3, and the bevel, in place of a conic bevel, a tool already described and illustrated in The HUB must be held to those vertical lines while dressing the side of the pillar to the curve a, hence the line h, Fig. 4, obtained by vertical lines, similar to those of the side, determine at all points of height this trace, to which we make the patten, which we lay upon the back edge of the pillar along the line r, Fig. 4, and mark on the turnunder, to which we dress the side surface and the pillar will, when carefully boxed into the bottom side, stand to the right flare, the inside of the pillar to be dressed from the outside, and boxed into the bottomside its full thickness, and secured by screws driven in from the inside. Fig. 3 shows the size of the foot of the pillar, and the joint it makes. If this pillar was dressed to the curve a, and then boxed into the bottom side, according to that surface, the cross width at the top of the pillar would be less than the 45 inches required, they would lean in at the top, a fault by far too common. In order to obtain the length of the second pattern of the pillar, we take the point 2, as the center, and A as the distance, and arc this point to its perpendicular height F, in the point Q. Then will T, as the center and Q, F, as distance, arc to its perpendicular height J, in the point S, and from this intersection move to g, F, Fig. 4. Then again, with z, as center, g, as distance, arc this point to g, of the vertical line A, Fig 1, and the height g, g, will give the length of both patterns, both patterns will be of the same length, but attaining different heights. This being true, then the turnunder should be carried to this height, or the turnunder line should stop at the height A, of the side, we are to understand that the turnunder of the side of the body is in the vertical direction, as represented in the straight line A, Fig 1, to A, Fig. 3, and not in the oblique direction of the pillar B, Fig. 1.
If we lengthen this pillar, according to its two inclinations, as shown, in order that it will, when in position, on the finished body, stand to the height A, of the side, then every given point will also move to the height K, at which height we take the turnunder, and not lower down. We take the amount of turnunder at the same height to which we make the patterns, which are marked on the patterns, and afterwards transferred to the pillar, and the difference taken at the height arced, will be the width which we desire the body to have, instead of being narrower to the amount occasioned by the pillar falling from the vertical, to an inclined position. Is that the correct and practical method for doing this work, or is the old and familiar way, termed the “French Rule,” a better method? Suppose, for instance, that the pillar had no turnunder, as shown in the Fig. 4, but had, say, 1 2 inch inclination in the height, even then there would be no reason to question the practical sense of the work. The drawing to the left of Fig. 4 is made to determine this problem, where the inclination is twice as great and also the amount of curve, and the points are opposite in both operations and the result is the same. The gist of the matter is, we take the amount of the turnunder at a height equal to the arc to which that point is raised, that it may be, when it falls, of an equal amount; if we take the distance T, to the point 4, on the line of turnunder a, Fig. 4, and carry this from z, to 4, on the line b, Fig. 1, it will be the point on the pillar B, which the same point on the turnunder pattern will fall, when applied to the back edge of the pillar. See the arc from f, to the point 4, of the line b.
When the point A, of the pillar B, is carried to the height g, Fig. 1, as we have explained, the arm rail will also be raised an equal amount, the point G, the elbow remaining stationary, the joints at both ends of the arm will therefore be changed in their bevel. We cannot use the lines of the side elevation as originally drawn from which to set the bevel to mark of the shoulders of either the arm, or the pillar. The length of the arm-rail is also increased. A drawing correctly made will determine this. The angle to which we must cut the shoulder for the half-lap of the arm and pillar is the angle r, n, Fig. 1, and the angle for the back shoulder will be N, and C, the bottom side, and if we take the point A, Fig. 3, as the center and the distance d, the elbows, and arc these points to K, thence vertically to the point K, of the elbow, Fig. 1, the projection required for the length of the arm, the shoulder will be inside of this, the thickness of the bottom side, 1 5/8 inches, by this means we may cut the framing in the vise. A pattern must be made for the arm-rails, which is here enlarged slightly, by the increased length of both the side-sweep and the side inclination, this explanation so far describes the drawing, the principle of delineation, the projection of a point, the trace of a line and the construction and limits of a surface, but it does not explain the reason, the cause, or the principle. We have now to deal with a framing piece, that is neither inclined nor contracted from the vertical or horizontal planes, its inside surface is parallel, hence a framing piece cannot be oblique in either plane, when one of its sides is perpendicular, and in dealing with the projection of the curved exterior surface of the side, we operate exclusively with the side, and since the other three sides are parallel, perpendicular, or square, the comprehension of the projection and of executing the work is simplified.
If we trace the curve c, of the exterior edge of the bottomside in plan, according to the “French Rule” of projection, as taught by Brice Thomas, and other eminent draftsmen, we must then be satisfied with common and expressionless results, in nowise imitative of the curve c, of this edge as designed in the side elevation, which is the outcome of study and practical application.
The back view, Fig. 2, shows this line carefully projected in its vertical elevation, as derived from, first the side; second, the plan. If we take x, and F, Fig. 2, as the center, and describe the arc O, from L to E, or to the base x, x, it will give the distance which the oblique line J, will extend, whose points are d, the elbow, Fig. 3, and the intersection H, F, through which it must pass. To make the matter clear we will simplify the explanation by taking a single point of projection and follow this to an ultimate resultant, if we first draw the horizontal chain, 3, across both side and back elevations, we will fix in both planes the given height upon which we wish to develop one point of many that are necessary to establish the trace C, of the exterior edge of the bottom side in plan, Fig. 3, and afterwards its projection in elevation. Having produced this line, as shown in conspicuous position, first let fall the vertical chain from its intersection with the turnunder a, Fig. 2, to the tangent H, then with H, F, as the center, describe the arc connecting the point 3, with the straight line F, then with E, as vertex, and the arc 3, as angle, draw the oblique line 3, prolonged indefinitely. Second, let fall the vertical chain from the intersection of C, the bottom side and the 3 Of Fig, 1, through to the center line y, Fig. 3, and where this line cuts the side sweep d, d, draw the horizontal line 3, intersecting the oblique line J, Fig. 5, and where this line meets draw the vertical chain 3, intersecting the oblique line 3, from E, to I, Fig. 5, and the distance, 3, 3, defines the turnunder and the projection of that point in the plan 9, 3, of the bottomside C, Fig. 3, and if we draw the curve I, from this intersection to the point f, and g, of the wing pillar B, Fig. 3, it will give the bevel of the bottomside and surface of the pillar, to which they much be dressed to turn regularly with the sidesweep and turnunder of the side surface of the body, and at their respective height. This line I, is made with the sidesweep pattern, which is turned, as it approaches the elbow, to a rounder curve, consequently in making this sweep I, we shift the pattern slightly ahead, so as to bring the curve on the face of the wing pillar parallel to the side sweep. This is therefore an important line; it is also important to explain the method of finding its correct points of projection, it is more important to comprehend its import and its usefulness, and it is conclusive that if we draw from each given point of the side, vertically to the exterior edge of the bottom-ides, a like point, and also from the wing pillar, and thus connect the points with the curve of the sidesweep, the bevel to which we dress the outside surface of the bottomside is then obtained, in the plan, and in no other plane of projection. Then, if we measure in from the tangent H, on the vertical line 3, to the point 9, C, and carry this obtained amount to the vertical line F, and at the height 3, Fig. 2, and set in this to the trace c, it will be one point through which we pass the trace of the exterior edge of the bottom side as shown in the back elevation of the body, Fig. 2.
The dihedral angle, to which the pillar is dressed, is the angle s, b, obtained by first squaring the line b, of the pillar, to obtain the dotted line R, to xx, then taken the turnunder h, A, Fig. 3, and from R, describe arc m, and from m, to A, draw dotted line s. This is well to know, because the back edge of the pillar must be beveled, before the pattern can be laid on and marked off to shape. Many lines are shown on the drawing that do not appear on the shop draft, but these lines serve to show in detail the principles involved. The drawings contain all that would be required on a shop draft and more, the object being to make the draft and its explanation worthy of study.
Working Drawing of Curricle.
Scale, 3/4 in. to the foot.
Our working drawing, Fig. 1, illustrates a new suspension for a gig or curricle of eastern design. It is the invention of the late Chauncey Thomas, and patented by him. Different styles of bodies can be mounted on the gear, either with or without top. It can be constructed either heavy or light, for one or two horses. High wheels can be employed when a massive design is desired and lighter ones when a smaller vehicle is preferred. It makes an elegant equipage for a lady who is fond of driving; with rubber tires it would be noiseless and free from vibration, one of the important qualities in two wheel work. From an artistic point of view it is when fully equipped and on the street, attractive and very smart.
Fig. 1, represents the side elevation, drawn to a scale of 3/4 inch, which gives the reader an idea of its construction and its dimensions of length and height. The body is hung on leather thorough braces at 32 inches from the floor, and 9 inches above the top of the axle turned crossbars at each end of the bent thills (so called from their apparent continuation of the shafts), take the thorough braces inside the thills, which pass under the axle, and thus take the steel springs which are clipped to the top of the axle, the front end of the springs being three inches longer than the back end, the whole length being 38 inches long by 1 3/4 inches wide, four plates, and shackled at the back end. The dimensions of the wheels, their track, and length and size of the axle are taken from the draft, as may be ascertained by measuring with the dividers, but for convenience we will specify the correct size of the important stock entering the construction of the gig, which must be understood carries two riders on a single axle instead of two as in a four wheel phaeton, and for this reason the stock must be heavier: Height of wheel, 46 inches, fourteen spokes 1 2 by 1 1/8 in.; hub 7 by 5 2 in., front band 4 1/4 by 2 inches, back band, 5 by 7/8 in., 1 1/4 in. Collinge axle, tire 1 1/4 by 3/8 in., rims 1 3/8 deep, 1 3/8 wide, track 4 feet 8 inch outside, swing of wheel 2 3/4 inches, which with a dish of 3/4 inch will give with a 1 2 inch spoke, a plumb face, all of which can be ascertained by measuring the draft. The height of the top at the middle bow is 3 feet 7 inches, length of top from front to back bow on a straight line 52 inches, width of front bow outside 49 inches; here it is exactly 48 inches, but it should be a trifle wider on each side than the arms, so as to appear to the eye as of equal width; middle bow 46 inches, back bow 42 inches, size of stock for front bow 2 by 1 2 in., middle bow 1 1/4 by 1 1/8 in., back bow 4 by 1 2 in., a piece being afterwards glued on to obtain the correct shape and size which is necessary to fill the angle which it makes first with the back, second with the side, third with the top. Unless this trifling expense is submitted to, an expensive top will be damaged at this particular corner. The shafts are 7 feet 8 inches long, 2 1/4 by 1 2 in. not plated, their height is 43 inches at the tug stop and are framed together with cross bar, so as to stiffen the gear. The whiffletree is placed on the top of the cross bar. The shafts are fixed rigidly to the thills as shown, but in crating they can be made to shift in a more convenient manner, but the idea is that the balance should be so perfect as to have no weight at the tug; but should pull a trifle up, and if the wheel is placed as here shown, that is, 4 2 inches ahead of the bow hinge, the carriage will, when weighted, balance correctly, and when this is accomplished the horse motion will be obviated, that is to say, the shaft will play up and down at the tug, instead of moving up and down with the horse.
In the January number of The Hub there is a working draft of the body of this carriage, to a larger and more complete scale than can be used here, owing to the lengths of the shaft which we desire to show on the draft. The object is to give a complete four plate drawing so that the workman can be started in the right direction toward building the gig and will see just what he has to have bent to form, in order to move the work along satisfactorily, for if we want a carriage like this the drawing will assist the workman in making the full size draft, though he may desire to use a different style of body with a different top or without the top. In any case the gear will be the principal part of the work, so far as design goes, almost any style of body is suitable. The writer has seen several types running in Boston and vicinity.
In this drawing the front and back bows are of the same height and length, and in making the top in this way we follow the English instead of the American method of doing the work; as will be seen the appearance of the side of the top is more equally balanced, while the crown is much rounder than usual, the amount of which is 7 inches. The wings are bolted to the arm rails instead of the front bow, and for the reason that if bolted to the bow they will, when the top is up, carry their weight ahead of axle, and when down, will carry back of the axle, thus constantly shirting from one to the other, which is a matter of some twelve pounds. Now if the wings weigh twelve pounds, and we bolt them to the front bow, and then balance the body on the axle, with the top up, the twelve pounds will balance correctly, but if we lower the top, we carry this twelve pounds back of the axle, and in doing so take twelve pounds from the front of the axle, making a difference of twenty-four pounds in the two positions, a weight which could never be calculated for. On this account we prefer to bolt them in a position where there can be no such shifting of weights. A perfectly balanced body insures comfort to the rider, consequently a satisfied customer hence in order to obtain a thoroughly balanced vehicle, the top should be set and ironed while in the smith shop. All cushions and the back should be added, the springs should be clipped to the axle, the shafts bolted to the thills; band iron straps should be used to hang off the body instead of the leather thorough brace; the two ends of the side springs should then be secured to the bent thills with thumb screws, so as to shift one way or the other, until a balance is obtained, and then bolt the shackles to their proper places, and in no other way can a satisfactory job be secured.
Figs. 2, 3, and 4 show the width of all parts, and give the information needed in building the carriage.
Obituary Chauncey Thomas
Carriage Monthly December 1898.
Chauncey Thomas is dead. The older carriage builders of America do not need to be told who and what he was, and where he stood as a carriage builder, a citizen and a man. The younger race of carriage builders know of Chauncey Thomas, have heard of him as one of those bright and shining lights who, for more than a generation, stood in the van of improvement and progress and art and originality and enterprise. He died at the venerable age of seventy-six, at his home in Roxboro, Boston, Massachusetts, on November 8th, revered by the community and honored by craftsmen. Mr. Thomas ranked with John W. Britton, Charles P. Kimball and men of that stamp and class. He was one of the founders of the C. B. N. A., and helped by his wise councils to make it what it is. As a mechanic, he stood at the head. He was born in Howland, Maine, and learned his trade of carriage builder in Bangor, Maine. He first entered the carriage business at West Newbury, Massachusetts, in 1852. He came to Boston, in 1859, and had been continuously in business ever since. The present firm of Chauncey Thomas & Co. was established in 1876, with L. B. Nichols and J. C. Thomas as partners. J. C. Thomas retired from the firm in January, 1892. For nearly forty years their carriage works stood at the foot of Chestnut street, and they became known as the originators of the finest carriage styles on the continent. He aimed all his life to produce the best. His inventions are known to carriage builders, and his improvements became the common property of the craft. When, some years ago, it was decided to bring out the work entitled: “One Hundred Years of American Commerce,” with Chauncey Depew as editor, Chauncey Thomas was selected to write an article on the development of the carriage industry in this country, which he did, and which has since stood as a piece of literary work and an example of historical breadth and exactness which, perhaps, has no equal in its field. To write a deserving notice of the life and life’s work of this talented man would require the work of a biographer and the contents of a book. He came upon the scene when carriage building was a crude industry; when art, originality, taste, skill were all at a low ebb. To him, as to his associates of those early days, belongs the credit of evolving the carriage, not by way of imitation, but on lines of originality and breadth, which laid the foundation of the perfect work of to-day.
Mr. Thomas in social life was most genial, ever the same agreeable, pleasant man, always looking on the bright side of life and spreading sunshine wherever he went, and always brightening his own home and fireside with the same sunshine.
He was unconsciously a pattern to other men. His goodness of heart was innate, not assumed for show or effect. He was born with the elements of a forceful character, and throughout his entire life he developed force, and made it felt in all things with which he had to do.
The funeral took place November 11th, at 2 P.M., and was largely attended by the local carriage builders, who met in special meeting to arrange for
united attendance. They passed appropriate resolutions. The pallbearers at the funeral were: John A. Scott, J. P. Emond, H. C. Seers and Alfred Becknels.
The employees of the firm attended in a body. Floral offerings were made in profusion.
There was singing by a professional quartet. The CARRIAGE MONTHLY was represented by W. W. Wood.
Mr. Thomas was not only a carriage builder, but he was a man. He was a deep and close reader and thinker, and, withal, a poet of no mean ability. He has left behind him two evidences of his literary ability-one “The Crystal Button,” and the other a volume of poems of 118 duodecimo pages, published in 1891 in Boston. Among these poems we select one which, by the way, was, read or recited at his funeral service, and is entitled “Lines to My Jack Plane.” It was written in 1852, when Mr. Thomas was a mechanic at the bench. There is a sweet and poetic vein running through these lines which shows his genius was not confined to his craft alone. The words are as follows:…
As a final paragraph in this insufficient tribute to the memory of one of our great and good men in our craft, we make room for the resolutions passed by his associates. BOSTON, November 10, 1898.
At a meeting of the Carriage Makers of Boston, held to-day, to take action on the death of Chauncey Thomas, the following resolutions were unanimously adopted:
“WHEREAS, Our friend and associate has been taken suddenly from our midst by death, be it
“Resolved, That in his death we have lost a true friend and genial companion, whose kind disposition and unassuming manner endeared him to his immediate associates and made him respected by all who knew him, a citizen of high character and undoubted integrity, ever ready to help the needy and uplift the down trodden. Be it
“Resolved, That in his death the carriage trade has lost one of its brightest and best men, whose genius has done much to raise carriage making to a high standard as a trade; and, for more than forty years of business career always thriving for the best. And, although a business men, yet his writings both in prose and verse show the intellectual acquirements of the deceased. He took a deep interest in the affairs of the city, state, and country. Be it further
“Resolved, That we extend to his family our deepest sympathy in the loss of a kind and devoted husband, a tender and loving father; hoping, that even in the sadness of their afflictions they may find some consolation in knowing that the worth of his private qualities and the value of his public life are fully appreciated.”
Celebrates Fifty Years in the Trade.
Carriage Monthly July 1911 page 42.
Leonard B. Nichols, president and treasurer of the carriage and automobile building firm of Chauncey Thomas & Co., Inc., Boston, Massachusetts, recently observed the fiftieth anniversary of his entrance into the business. He first began as a carriage painter in the shop of J. P. Emond, of Roxbury. This gentleman is still alive, and together with his wife, was the guest of Mr. Nichols and his family on the occasion of the anniversary. They enjoyed an automobile ride and had dinner at Mansfield.
Mr. Nichols is sixty-eight years old and was born in West Newbury, Massachusetts. After learning his trade he entered the employ of Mr. Thomas as a foreman painter on February 5, 1865. In 1876 he was admitted to the firm as a partner and when Mr. Thomas died in 1898 and the business was incorporated, he assumed the offices that he has filled ever since. He lives at 73 Coolidge Street, Brookline. His family consists of his wife and two daughters, Miss Berta Nichols, well known as a violinist, and Mrs. Frank P. Rhoades, of Braintree.
As a boy Mr. Nichols passed much of his time in the village post office and from hearing the usual country arguments on politics he became a staunch Republican. His first vote was cast in the second election of Abraham Lincoln, and he has voted for every president since then with the exception of Grover Cleveland.
Since he cast his lot with the corporation of which he is now president, Mr. Nichols has seen many changes in the business. His house was the first to introduce rubber tires for vehicles in Boston and what was probably the first automobile ever built in that section was turned out of the shops more than twenty-five years ago. It was an electrically propelled machine, built to the order of a customer.
|C. THOMAS||THILL COUPLING||100,951||03/15/1870|
|C. THOMAS||AXLE NUT & AXLE||104,901||06/28/1870|
|CHAUNCEY THOMAS||CART TWO WHEELED||249,730||11/15/1881|
|CHAUNCEY THOMAS||DOOR CAB HANSOM OPERATING||328,731||10/20/1885|
|CHAUNCEY THOMAS||LANDAU & LANDAULET||405,723||6/25/1889|
|CHAUNCEY THOMAS||CART TWO WHEELED||467,962||2/02/1892|
|CHAUNCEY THOMAS||SPRING CART||D22,814||09/26/1893|