A World of Wheels

Published by: David E. Sneed
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Text & Images Copyright © David E. Sneed, All Rights Reserved
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Competitors in America’s first transportation industry used a variety of ways to keep their name in front of potential customers. Some produced ornate catalogs, print ads, broadsides, colorful trade cards, and other wood, metal, and paper-based signage. While prevalent in the day, those methods are far from the only ways that wagon makers connected with the public.

The one-of-a-kind exhibit pictured here is part of a larger display focused on elements from the early wagon industry in the U.S. The collection includes early salesman’s samples, printer blocks, lithography stones, factory wrenches, shipping tags, watch fobs, medallions, cups, buttons, stick pins, whistles, maker tags, mirrors, whetstones, brushes, rulers, games, industry awards, and badging as well as other signage and period pieces. Also featured here is an original patent model submitted by Abner Fish (Fish Bros.) to the U.S.Patent & Trademark Office in 1880. The patent for this new, quick-release brake lever was granted on March 9th of the same year.


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Legendary wagon brands included in this rare showcase are: 

Abbot-Downing, Armleder, Bain, Birdsell, Brown, Buerkens, Caldwell, Carver, Columbian, Columbus, Cooper, Electric Wheel, Fish Bros., Flint, Florence, Gestring, Gruber, Hickman-Ebbert, Jackson, James & Graham, John Deere, Kansas, Keller, Kentucky, LaBelle, Lindsay, Linstroth, Luedinghaus, Milburn, Mitchell, Moline, New Smith, Newton, Nissen, Old Hickory, Owensboro, Pekin, Peter Schuttler, Racine-Sattley, Springfield, Stoughton, Studebaker, T.G. Mandt, Thornhill, Tiffin, Turnbull, Uri Gilbert (Troy, NY stagecoaches), Weber, Weber-Damme, Webster, Winona, and others.

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