À l'œuvre, on connaît l'artisan

Published by: David Sneed, Wheels That Won The West® Archives, LLC
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It was out of a desire to know more about earlywestern vehicles that, nearly two decades ago, we began searching for greater informationon the subject.  While it began as ahobby, the depth of study has driven our files of primary source researchmaterials much deeper.  In fact, thepursuit has grown to include literally thousands of period photos, originalcatalogs, broadsides, and promotional and business pieces related to heavywood-wheeled vehicle makers in the U.S.  Nomatter how much we discover, though, I never cease to be amazed – and humbled –at how much more there is to learn.  Thesearch for more details about America’s earliest and largest transportationindustry is truly never-ending.  The goodnews is that the quest often turns up extraordinary pieces tied to some of themost exciting eras of American history.  

Recently, the value of our commitment to constantlylearn and grow our archives was reinforced as our Wheels That Won The West®collection (WTWTW) of images and information was tapped by the leading Frenchequestrian publication, “Attelages” magazine. Profiled in an extensive article entitled, “The Conquest of the West,” byStephan Broeckx, a number of period western vehicle images and historicalhighlights were selected from our archives. The story introduction is dominated by a WTWTW photo showing an early freightwagon pulled by a unique hitch of 5 horses. Other photographic highlights from our files include an early mud coachin Oregon, a small wagon shop in Wisconsin, a surviving Peter Schuttler wagon anda Fish Bros. wagon, restored by Hansen Wheel and Wagon Shop, that we were ableto assist with dating, authentication and restoration details. 

In addition to our weekly blog and regular additionsof original articles on our website, we expect to have several other articlesprinted by additional publications this year. Combined with the upcoming Volume 2 edition of our “Borrowed Time”western vehicle book series (Peter Schuttler), we’re busy sharing even moreexclusive and little-known history.  We’repleased to continue to help fill a niche by showcasing so many of the vehiclesthat helped build America.
In keeping with the spirit of the recent French article,the title of this blog is Àl'œuvre, on connaît l'artisan.  Roughlytranslated, it’s a reminder that the craftsman is known by his work.  It’s our hope that, along with so many otherhistorians and enthusiasts, our ephemeral archeology and historicalpreservation work will ultimately be viewed as beneficial research for generationsto come. 
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