Paging through the history of the 19th and early 20th centuries, there were many areas of the U.S. recognized for producing excellent wood-wheeled transportation. Certainly, the state of Wisconsin was no stranger to accolades for quality vehicles. In fact, it was home to a number of major wagon and carriage makers that are still highly touted today. Among those legendary heavy vehicle brands are Mitchell, LaBelle, Bain, Racine-Sattley, Stoughton, Mandt, and Fish Bros. Also included in this list are makers like Northwestern Manufacturing (Fort Atkinson), Vaughn Manufacturing Company (Jefferson), Smith Manufacturing (La Crosse), White Wagon Works (Sheboygan Falls), and B.F. & H.L. Sweet from Fond du Lac, Wisconsin.
Finding the higher quality and best collectible, horse-drawn vehicles from the 1800’s and early 1900’s has become more and more difficult. It’s a multi-part challenge based in part on the ability to both recognize notable survivors as well as understand what elements contribute to the vehicle’s long-term importance. Doug Hansen of Hansen Wheel and Wagon Shop recently shared a nice “Sweet” wagon find with us. This exceptional wagon will date to the early 1900’s. It’s in remarkable condition with strong original paint, transfer graphics on the box, and well-defined wood contours. It will make a solid addition to about any early vehicle collection. Our thanks to Doug for passing along these images.