- American Carriage Directory
- Carriage Catalogs
- Trade Journals
- Search our Past Perfect Library Catalog
The library of the Carriage Museum of America houses approximately 1,200 books on the carriages and related subjects. These include books on stables and carriage houses, horse training, management, diseases, breeds and breeding, as well as those on proper driving etiquette, whip and harness making, bridles, bits and horse shoeing. A number of early travel histories and travel guides are also available.
The library collection of Thomas Ryder, a leading international expert on driving and carriages, was purchased by the Carriage Museum of America. Major contributions have also been made to the collection from the Paul Downing Collection, Richard Harrington, Ken Sowles, Jack Pemberton and others.
The library is non-circulating, but is open to the public by appointment. Many classic carriage texts have been digitized and are available at no cost online. Please see our Recommended Reading page for more information.
A portion of our collection can be searched online. Feel free to search our catalog to learn more about what the library has to offer.
If you are researching a particular type of vehicle or specific element of carriage culture, there’s a good chance that we have something relevant in our archive. Feel free to come look through the materials yourself, or contact us for more information.
The American Carriage Directory was published annually, and lists every carriage, wagon, and sleigh manufacturer doing business that year. Organized by city and state, the Directory also includes listings for vehicle dealers and repairers, as well as manufacturers of carriage related products such as axles and coach lace.
Our library is fortunate to have copies of the American Carriage Directory for 1888, 1891, 1898, and 1903. This directory is a valuable resource in helping to pinpoint the legal name of a manufacturer, the years it was doing business, its location, and its relative size.
The CMA collection includes original or reproduction catalogs for over 200 vehicle manufactures. We also have a large collection of harness and hardware catalogs.
A number of carriage catalogs have been digitized and are viewable online. You can see a list of those catalogs here.
Each of these publications was printed monthly. The content was divided into sections on wood, smith shop, paint, trimming, shop news, and carriage anecdotes. The publications also ran many pages of advertisements for horse and carriage related products.Each issue included eight fashion plates, displaying images and descriptions of new styles of vehicles being manufactured around the country and even internationally. At the time, these fashion plates helped designers stay up-to-date on current styles. As we research vehicles in the modern day, these fashion plates help us to track changes in carriage styles over time.
These journals provide great insight into the technology, styles, and key people and places of the time. The Carriage Museum of America is pleased to hold a large archive of both The Hub and The Carriage Monthly, in addition to issues of other related journals and serial publications.