Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Big Dreams… Profiling An 1860’s Western Freighter

By the thousands, they were once commonplace on the American frontier.  Large western freight wagons did more than just carry their weight, they built and sustained some of the most demanding and harsh regions of the U.S.  Individually and collectively, they were as big as the dreams they carried.  They were dreams of personal and corporate success; firmly committed to the task at hand; dreams built by hard work and tenacity and driven by a desire to excel.  It’s easy to look back from the comfort of our modern conveniences and minimize the everyday challenges associated with operating these big rigs.  But, the reality is these men, beasts and machines ruled the road. 

To illustrate that point, let’s consider just a few of the dozens of questions we could ask.  Things like… How do you negotiate sharp turns on steep, narrow mountainous terrain when the full length of your train – including horses/mules/oxen and wagons – can easily stretch 100 - 200 feet in length?  How do you maintain control while descending long grades with full loads?  Finally, when the wheel weighs several hundred pounds more than you do, how do you manage any repairs on the trail that might require it to be removed?  Clearly, there was a tremendous amount of strength, skill, finesse, wisdom and experience necessary to command an early freighting operation. 

Large and in-charge, these no-nonsense designs were especially rugged and built for strength.  (Click here to see more photos, specifications and information about this unique freighter on our Wheels That Won The West® website.