View Full Version : The "COOLIDGE" Ambulance Wagon

12-31-2006, 01:40 AM
Hi everyone. I am in the prossess of collecting money and information to building the Coolidge Ambulance. Does anyone know where i can find original plans or sketches of the ambulance wagon? Should I look in the Nat. Archives? Any info will help and if you would like to donate money to help build this ambulance it would be greatly apperciated.

Your Obedient Servant,
Michael Merritt
Head Cadet, Medical Cadet Corps
Cpl, Susquehanna Mess

12-31-2006, 05:09 AM
"A four-wheeled ambulance wagon (FIGS. 463, 464). designed by Assistant Surgeon R. H. Coolidge, was very little used. The sills of the wagon were ten feet four inches long, and the body rested between two semi-ellip-tical springs seven feet nine and three-quarter inches in length (FIG. 463). It was intended to accommodate two patients in recumbent and four in sitting postures, two with the driver on the front seat, and two at the end of the wagon, one on each side (see FIG. 465). The beds for the two prone patients were so arranged that they could be changed into seats, as shown in FIG. 465, when the wagon would accommodate ten patients and the driver. Detailed specifications of this ambulance wagon will be found on page 61 of the Report of a Board of Officers to decide upon a pattern of ambulance wagon already referred to. "

"The Medical and Surgical History of the War of the Rebellion. (1861-65.) --Part III, Volume II, Chapter XV.--Transportation Of The Wounded. Ambulance Wagons"

You will find drawing in the sme place as the description. If you are unable to find complete plans (patent office maybe) you can use these measurements to have plans made from the drawings.

Out of curiosity, why a Collidge? They were very rare.

George Wunderlich

12-31-2006, 02:11 PM
I am looking for the drawings of a 2 wheeled abbulance

The following link is where you can see the picture of the 2 wheeled coolidge ambulance. It is fig. 457 and is about 1/4th down the page.

Mr. Wunderlich, could you please inform me on what type of ambulance the Revised Regulations for the Army of the U.S. 1861 is talking about. They talk about 3 different types of "ambulance" or "carts" in the book.
They talk about the 4-wheeled ambulance's, 2-wheeled ambulances, and transportation carts. The transportation carts were modeled off the 2 wheeled ambulances.

Your Obedient Servant,
Michael Merritt
Medical Cadet Corps
The Susquehanna Mess

01-01-2007, 09:33 AM
Two wheeled cart style ambulances were an pre-war and early war conveyance that proved to be unworkable. The Finley and Coolidge two wheeled ambulances were used very early in the war and very quickly abandoned. They were too violent in their rocking and bouncing to be of much good and the men hated them. A later Coolidge four wheel was made but neve widely used.

They were quickly replaced by the Tripler and then the Wheeling and finally the Rucker. Theo Moses was never built and there is no record of any Howards that I know of.

Army wagons converted to ambulance and then these other four wheeled ambulances seem to be the norm. Two wheeled ambulances are only really useful for 1861 and very early 1862 in very limited numbers.

So far as the regs go, they are not talking about any one ambulance as the regualtions refer to general types of ambulances. It was up to the medical board to buy ambulances so the regulations simply refer to type and the board could decide what to buy to fill that "type". This is the same is in muskets. The regs refer to a rifled musket but a unit may have been issued a Springfield, Enfield, Belgian, Austrian, or Prussian weapon. You need to look at photgraphs, inventories, Official Records and correspondence to see what was used.

For reproduction use a Tripler or a Wheeling would be best for representing a comon ambulance with the braodest appeal.

I hope this helps,

George Wunderlich