The CMA maintains a collection of vehicles in original condition for the purposes of historic preservation and research. Currently, these vehicles are not on display to the public, but our full catalog of vehicles can be viewed here. And in order to make the information about these vehicles more accessible, you can now see and read more about some of these vehicles on this page.
Piano-box Runabout painted black. A runabout was a light driving vehicle made without a top. “Piano box” refers to the square shape of the body. This vehicle has elliptical springs in front and back, which would minimize the rocking motion of the vehicle in motion. It is trimmed in black with red gear. A maker’s tag on the rear cross brace identifies P.H. Bradley of Portland, ME as the manufacturer.
This is another example of a light driving vehicle. In keeping with the Stanhope style, the body was placed on a locker, which made it convenient for carrying luggage or parcels. It is also identifiable by the presence of a Stanhope pillar. The body is black with faux louvers, painted red with narrow black striping. The Stanhope pillar and front sill are also painted red. The seat is spindled, with tan Bedford cord trim in the muffin pattern. The vehicle has leather fenders with loop ends. The gear and wheels are painted maroon with double striping in black. This vehicle has elliptical springs in front and back, which was typical of four-wheeled Stanhope vehicles.
Small country omnibus made by Brewster and Company. Large styles of omnibus were most often used as public conveyances, to carry many passengers. This smaller style, also known as an opera bus, was usually owned by an individual and used for general purposes whenever several people were to be carried. The omnibus featured a door in the back and two inside seats facing one another. This vehicle is marked with Brewster No. 24297. The seat cushions and interior trim are both dark blue broadcloth, with dark blue taffeta used on the roller curtains. The Side and front windows are both sliding, with drop glass for the back door. The vehicle has wooden fenders and a leather dash.
Although the vehicle is currently painted black with no striping evident, records indicate that the original color of the body is blue with black medium and broad striping.
Lamps on the vehicle are also marked Brewster & Co.
The landau was a popular and convenient style of carriage, as it could be converted from a closed-top to open-air vehicle. The vehicle top has two leather folding heads, each with its own hinged supports. The heads can be lowered to create an open top vehicle, or locked together to create a secure, closed-body carriage.
This particular landau is build with a sefton style body, meaning that the bottom line is one continuous curve. The body is painted black, with no striping and a monogram on the door. The wheels and gear are also black, with a single broad, red strip and narrowing tallow stripe on either side. The interior trim is black wool, with plain geometric coachlace. The driver’s seat is also trimmed in black, with a vermillion stripe on the outside of the driver’s footboard. This vehicle includes provisions for sway straps in the front and rear. This landau is also attributed to Brewster & Co., although the serial number is unknown.
This early historic vehicle was built in 1828/29 for John Adams Dix, who later became Governor of New York State and Ambassador to France, in addition to holding other public appointments. It was used by Governor Dix and his family during the time they lived in Cooperstown.
The body, which has been repainted black, has a curved bottom line and paneled sides rising to each end, the back being the highest part. The seat is fixed across the back and there is a second seat in the center of the body. The back seat has a leather covered squab and both seat cushions are leather covered, but not original to the vehicle. There is a folding head that rises over the back of the vehicle, covered in rubber coated cloth. This is a four-box top. The vehicle is entered by means of a step in the center of the left side only. Four axles are connected by a single wooden perch. The vehicle has coach lace trim with tan, cream and red stripe around the edge of the cushion fall.