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Thread: Evaluating Historic Carriages

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Aug 2012
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    4

    Question Evaluating Historic Carriages

    Greetings folks,
    Before I begin let me take a moment to introduce myself. My name is David and I do Elizabethan re-enactment. My younger brother is with the 1st Maine Heavy Artillery (North-South Skirmish Assn.)

    Now on to the good stuff. I recently acquired a piece of property in Maryland and in a fallen barn on the property I've found what appears to be a Caisson, wooden frame, wooden wheels & hubs, metal tires. Unfortunately there is no box. I'm curious to know if there are any experts who can help me assess this unique find.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
    Location
    Near Gettysburg PA
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    119

    Default

    Sounds interesting. A person simply compares your find with the U.S. government's specifications shown in the period Ordnance Manuals. The absolute standard for wheels for a period Caisson is two wheels that are 57" in diameter. hooked to another short frame with an additional set of two 57" diameter wheels. If you found a single framed wagon with four wheels that are 48 inch diameter then you found an old farm wagon.
    David Einhorn, Author of the book titled, "Civil War Blacksmithing" available from Amazon.com http://www.amazon.com/Civil-War-Blac...+blacksmithing

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Apr 2011
    Location
    Bedford, Virginia
    Posts
    483

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    Photo? and to please the web site some meaningless text to avoid the "message is too short" warning.
    Boyd Miles

    I dream of a world where a chicken can cross a road without having its motives called into question.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Aug 2012
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    4

    Default More information to come..... Stand by

    David,
    Thanks for the information on the wheel sizes. It is a two wheel assembly, but it's quite possible it started out as something else (wagon). It's has been modified as the hitch is a parallel flat plates with through hole (modified for tractor, perhaps) and the yoke is off nominal in design.


    Boyd,
    I'll get wheel measurements and other stats, as well as photos this weekend. Unfortunately I'm still a newby on the site so I'm restricted from posting photos at the moment. However, once I can I'll get a photo up.

    As an aside,
    There was another "2 wheel" cart there as well, but the wheels on that appear to be a front end assembly from (I believe) a c.1930 ford. The 5" hub cap on the one wheel has an embossed interlocking "V8".

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
    Location
    Near Gettysburg PA
    Posts
    119

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    Quote Originally Posted by Dlyons View Post
    David,
    .It's has been modified as the hitch is a parallel flat plates with through hole (modified for tractor, perhaps) and the yoke is off nominal in design. ....
    Yes we were given a farm cart by my wife's parents in Maryland with a hitch arrangement like that. The hitch is designed to hook to the "draw bar" on the rear of farm tractors, and even onto the back of some riding mowers. Very handy, quick and easy attachment. I frequently use that cart.

    If you wish to compare any equipment to the period ordnance manual(s), you can access a free online copy of "The Ordnance Manual for Use of the Officers of the United States Army" by Alfred Mordecai as well as other period manuals at : http://www.artilleryreserve.org/ website.

    The same ordnance manual equipment specifications were used by both northern and southern forces.... with exceptions due to expediency, material availability and field repairs. When in San Francisco some years ago, I had the opportunity to closely examine a genuine ACW caisson on display there. As can be expected some of the iron parts did not exactly match the Mordecai drawings since at least some of the replacement/repair parts were likely made with expediency in mind. I found it to be very interesting. Naturally, when I saw it sitting there I had to crawl under the rope barrier and under the caisson to examine the metalwork.
    David Einhorn, Author of the book titled, "Civil War Blacksmithing" available from Amazon.com http://www.amazon.com/Civil-War-Blac...+blacksmithing

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Aug 2012
    Posts
    4

    Default New data...

    Wheels measure 36 inch diameter with 8 spokes and is about 2 inches wide. I assume at this time that it was part of a wagon. We unearthed another fully collapsed wagon and an extra axel this weekend, which I figure probably went with the unit we are discussing. Bit dissapointed that it was not a caisson frame, but it was an interesting find none the less.

    Thank you to everyone for the information. If you know anyone interested in antigue wagon parts, let me know....(chuckle chuckle)

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Location
    Williamsburg/Richmond, Virginia
    Posts
    520

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    I would recommend calling the Colonial Williamsburg Foundation's Wheelwrights and speaking with them. They are three of only a dozen professionally apprenticed wheelwrights left in the country. They also have a facebook page. "The Deane Shop."
    Drew Gruber
    3rd Regiment USV- Buffington's Boys
    Atlantic Guard Soldiers Aid Society
    Backus's Bodacious Battery- PNB Artillery Crew

    "...mow hay, cut wood, prepare great food, drink schwitzel, knit, sew, spin wool, rock out to a good pinch of snuff and somehow still find time to go fly a kite." N.B.
    Now thats living history.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Aug 2012
    Posts
    4

    Default Great idea!

    Quote Originally Posted by Busterbuttonboy View Post
    I would recommend calling the Colonial Williamsburg Foundation's Wheelwrights and speaking with them. They are three of only a dozen professionally apprenticed wheelwrights left in the country. They also have a facebook page. "The Deane Shop."
    Great idea! Thanks for the information.

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