The design of a carriage was limited only by the designer’s imagination. As new styles became popular and new features were introduced by competitors, manufacturers altered their designs to appeal to customers. As a result, carriages were made in a wide variety of types and variations.
We have done our best to identify and describe different types of vehicles here. However, it is important to recognize that carriage manufacturers were free to name their vehicles by any name that they chose. Because of this, there is often some overlap between different vehicle types.
There are a number of books available that offer more complete study of the subtle differences. If you do not find the vehicle you are looking for here, please e-mail us a side view photo of the vehicle you would like identified, and we will be happy to help.
- Berkebile, Don H. Carriage Terminology: An Historical Dictionary. Washington, D.C.: Smithsonian Institution Press, 1978.
- Houghton, G.W.W. The Hub’s Vocabulary of Vehicles: A Complete Dictionary (Historical and Technical) of Vehicle Names, Their Origin and Derivations. New York: Hub Publishing Company, 1880-1900.
- All photos used are from the CMA Archives