The Carriage Museum is proud to conserve and display this beautiful harness, made by Mark Cross & Co. of Boston, Massachusetts for Matthew Chaloner Durfee Borden in 1912. In 1845, an Irish saddler named Henry W. Cross opened his own leather goods shop on Boston’s Summer Street and named it after his son Mark who joined the business at age 17. Their reputation for fine work was soon established and the harness and saddles they produced were prized among horsemen. They expanded their inventory to include stable tools and supplies at reasonable prices. Their motto was “Never to be undersold, Never to misrepresent our goods, and Never to allow a reasonable customer to be dissatisfied.” By 1872, Mark Cross opened its first store in New York City, with others following in London, Paris, and Milan. As the need for leather goods diminished with the coming of the automobile, Mark Cross & Co. moved into the market of fine luggage and handbags for which they are known today.
As the transportation industry transitioned from carriages to cars, many carriage manufacturers adapted to the change and adjusted their products and services to follow suit. In 1911, the Ware Brothers Company, publishers of The Carriage Monthly, published their Vehicle Year Book 1911 : Automobiles - Carriages - Wagons. In the Directory Department, there were more than twenty pages of listings for "Carriage and Wagon Builders Doing Auto-Mobile Work." Similarly, advertisers and manufacturers of vehicle components and accessories began appealing to potential customers on both sides of the industry.