Wednesday, December 25, 2013
Wednesday, December 18, 2013
Enthusiasm is catching, no matter the
subject. It’s one of the reasons I’ve
always enjoyed spending time with Tom Elliott of Clinton, Arkansas. He truly enjoys old wagons and that passion is
a familiar sight at countless western events, trail rides, and chuck wagon
What's the most memorable vehicle (or part) that you've found or worked on?
What are some of the projects you currently have in your shop?
“I have a high wheel Bain I need to get started on and I just bought a 1916 Pontiac spring wagon that's in pretty good shape but needs some minor work.”
Wednesday, December 11, 2013
Okay. Now comes a small confession. I deliberately left out some crucial information but, I did so to help point out the difficulties in conclusively researching these pieces. We don’t always have the luxury of a maker tag or some other identifying mark, so it’s crucial to know the distinctions promoted by specific brands. While the buckboard shown was indeed made and marketed under the Studebaker umbrella, it was sold as part of their “World Vehicles” or World Buggy Company brand in South Bend. These buggies, carriages, surreys, and spring wagons were typically positioned as a quality brand but they were more competitively priced.
Wednesday, December 4, 2013
Wednesday, November 27, 2013
Wednesday, November 20, 2013
|Both the metal and paint design of this bolster standard provide strong evidence of a Stoughton brand wagon.|
|Wood features such as the single groove in this hub combined with notable metal distinctions such as rounded spoke bands and other details point to Studebaker as the maker.|
|Both the paint and metal design of this front hound are typical of many twentieth-century-built Springfield wagons.|
|The faded numbers and lettering shown here are references to this wagon’s skein size and track width.|
Wednesday, November 13, 2013
Fortunately, the predominant number of surviving wagons can often be narrowed down to less than two hundred makers who dominated the distribution channels. That said, each of these major wagon makers can have dozens – if not hundreds – of variations in construction designs over the course of the company’s lifespan. That’s where it becomes important to have access to original literature from as many companies and as many different parts of a company’s tenure as possible. In a nutshell, that’s exactly what we have been collecting for the last two decades as we’ve built a large compilation of primary source materials for the Wheels That Won The West® archives. It’s allowed us to consistently review individual vehicles with greater clarity and assurance while providing owners of these vehicles with clearer provenance and stronger documentation.
Along that line of thought, a few years ago, we worked with Doug Hansen to track down more details on a specific set of wheels. At the time, Hansen Wheel and Wagon Shop was working on a museum restoration of an early Fish Bros. wagon that had lost almost all of its original paint. While Fish Bros. wagons (both Racine, Wisconsin and Clinton, Iowa) carried an extraordinary reputation during the 1800’s and early 1900’s, there are few survivors today. Our archives were called in to help date the vehicle as well as determine whether the gear was original to the box. We were also asked to confirm original striping and logo details. The process involved considerable research within original pieces in our collection. With the earliest Fish Bros. material in the ‘Wheels’ archives being published in 1875, we were confident we could assist. Ultimately, the wagon was dated to just after the turn of the 20th century. Equally important, we were able to supply the craftsmen at Hansen Wheel and Wagon Shop with detailed imagery showing specific placement of striping in virtually all areas of the box and gear. We were also privileged to provide exclusive, original period artwork of the correct jumping fish logo for the box side.
It was a success story for all involved but the primary point I wanted to share is that it could not have happened without the original company literature and sufficient preserved imagery. So, where does that leave a person who doesn’t have access to those materials? Fortunately, we’re far from the end of the identification story. If an individual is truly committed to learning as much as possible from a vehicle, the piece will have a story to tell. It will talk to you. All we have to do – is Listen. With that as the backdrop, we’ll continue this blog next week as we share more details on identification of vintage vehicle makers.
Wednesday, November 6, 2013
Wednesday, October 30, 2013
During all that time you’ve been involved with a number of vehicle projects. Which ones do you consider to be the most significant?
Wednesday, October 23, 2013
Doug and Holly Hansen of Hansen
Wheel & Wagon Shop|
Replica 1840 linch pin Prairie
Doug Hansen driving
Jim Patrick's Peter Schuttler chuck wagon during|
a buffalo hunt reenactment
Doug Hansen driving his
restored mud wagon during a historical reenactment|
Replica of M.P. Henderson mud
wagon circa 1870|
Hansen Wheel & Wagon Shop
Wednesday, October 16, 2013