Frequently Asked Q uestions
1. Who made my vehicle? There is no way of knowing what company manufactured a vehicle if it does not have a makers mark on it. Such as name tag, name on the oil cap, paper label under the seat cushion, name of carriage manufacture stamped on the axle spindle other then the axle maker. There were over 7000 carriage and wagon makers by the 1900 and because many companies bought parts from specialized makers, it is possible that more than one company could have made a similar vehicle.
2. I want to know more about the company that made my vehicle? The best place to start is to make a list of the libraries and historical societies in the area of were your vehicle was made from the library directory and museum directory at your local library. Send a self address stamped enveloped asking them for information, sometimes they are not able to tell you anymore than when they were listed in the city directories. For the serious researcher: Once you have established the dates when the company was in business you can search through local newspapers of the area for that time period. Also available on microfilm is the trade journals the Carriage Monthly and Hub published for the carriage trade from about 1855 to 1915. Usually a reel contains a year, some years require two reels. You can than take this microfilm to your local library that has a microfilm reader if you do not have a microfilm reader.
This microfilm is available from the Library of Congress, Photo duplication Services, 101 Independence Avenue South East, Washington, DC 20540-4574 phone 202-707-372 fax 202-707-1771. $49.00 a reel.
The Carriage Museum of America maintains a clippings file for about 30 manufactures and we can send copies out for $12.00 for members and $15.00 for non-members.
3. What is my vehicle worth? Contact Martin Auctioneers, 12 North Railroad Avenue, Post Office Box 99, New Holland, PA 17557 phone 717-354-6671. They charge $35.00 a vehicle to appraise it.
4. Questions about Sleighs? We do not answer individual questions about sleighs. We have put most of what we know about sleighs in our book, Horse-Drawn Sleighs. With one drawing of a sleigh in our book Working Drawings of Horse-Drawn Vehicles. Sleighs in color are in the book Horse-Drawn Vehicles: Colored Plates from the Hub November 1882-January 1893.
5. What color do I paint my vehicle? For historical accurate information see our book Horse-Drawn Vehicles: Colored Plates from the Hub November 1882-January 1893.
6. Drawings for building a stagecoach and Conestoga wagon? Contact the Smithsonian Institution, Division of Transportation, Room 5010 MRC 628, National Museum of American History, Washington, DC 20560, or Oregon Historical Society, 1200 SW Park Avenue, Portland, OR 97205 (phone: 503-306-5233). For most other drawings see our book Working Drawings of Horse-Drawn Vehicles. Other sources of plans of Wild Horse Books and Art, 255 Boulder Road, Deer Lodge, Montana 59722 (phone: 406-846-3686).Resources for model builders: Guild of Model Wheelwrights, Benison House, 9 Henley Rise, Shepton Mallet, Somerset BA44AW (phone: 44-1749-344263) website www.guildofmodelwheelwrights.org.
7. Questions and books about driving and harness? Events, tours, learning weekend, annual carriage conference, products & services. Contact the Carriage Association of America, 3915 Jay Trump Rd, Lexington, Kentucky phone 859-231-0971.
8. I want to restore my vehicle? As a museum we recommend vehicles in original condition should be left original. Our book Conservation and Restoration of Horse-Drawn Vehicles is currently the most comprehensive book on the subject.