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Does Anyone Know the Origin of this Wagon?

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#1 WagonBill OFFLINE  


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Posted August 13, 2011 - 10:52 PM

Here's a wagon that's been used on our farm in Washington state since the 1960's. The wood is falling apart now, even the replacement pieces. I'd like to rebuild the wooden parts and have the metal parts sandblasted. Does anyone know what company produced these wagons or the original purpose of it or it's age? My brother thought it might be a mail wagon before we started using it in the fields.

Front View:

Rear View:

Top Front View:


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Edited by WagonBill, August 14, 2011 - 05:31 PM.

#2 KennyP OFFLINE  



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Posted August 14, 2011 - 06:16 AM

:welcometogttalk:Could have been a vendors wagon to sell their wares up and down the streets. Hard to say, but it is a cool looking wagon. Thanks for the pics. Looks like you could rebuild it fairly easily.

#3 Alc OFFLINE  



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Posted August 14, 2011 - 06:57 AM

Welcome to GTtalk , can't help you out, but that's a pretty neat wagon , Al

#4 MH81 ONLINE  


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Posted August 14, 2011 - 07:13 AM

:welcome: to GTTalk, that's really cool. Thanks for the pics!

I would say that was built by a blacksmith or someone with an equally good set of abilities. There were many companies that did sell stuff like that early on, but if it is from the 60's I'd say it was someone handy. Do you know if it was a new purchase when it came or was it a used piece when it came on the farm? If it was used, it may be very old. Someone who knows something about dating implements by wheel style, may be able to tell you an era at least. If i had to hazard a guess, 20's or 30's. But i may be way off. Another clue to look at is the nails. If they are cut, forged, commercial, etc... Can give clues to when a piece was assembled.

One more thing, as you take off the original sideboards, see if you can scrape down to original layers. You may just find some printing. Dad has seen this more than once on old stuff. Often times, the original wood was painted with a red or white substance that was more of a milk paint or stain and the letters were put over that, usually in black. It's amazing how many pieces are out there with the original logos still intact after a century.

Good luck, and keep us posted. Neat old piece of history.
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#5 WagonBill OFFLINE  


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Posted August 14, 2011 - 03:49 PM

Thanks for the nice comments. My Dad started the farm in the late 50's and ran it on a shoe-string. He never bought new equipment. My earliest recollections of the cart were in the mid 60's and that it was originally painted dark green.

There aren't any screws on it, just a couple of square-head bolts and a lot of rivets. I assumed it was mass produced, but the iron work on it is pretty simple using stock pieces. The front handle is just attached with a flat piece of steel wrapped around it with rivets. It used to have a back door on it. No hinges, just 2 eye bolts with square bolts attached to the bottom and the door had 2 matching eye bolts so it would open all the way down (though there could have been chains to keep it horizontal when open). Opened or closed, it was always a loose fit. It still has the lynch pin on top to close the door. The remaining pin does look to be hand-forged, meaning this could be a homemade project instead of a mass-produce cart.

I also think it's from the 20's or 30's. The big wheels worked great in the bumpy/muddy fields, especially for 9 or 10 year old kids. Dad would tell us to get the cart and fill it half-way with dill and 2 bushels of beets! It was about a quarter mile out, so this cart was indispensable! Dad managed the farming and Mom ran a vegetable stand up front close to the road to sell stuff.

MH81 - I'll look for any stamped trademarks and under the paint for possible printing. Let me know if there's a website that can date wagons by the wheel shape and style. I know of similar sites to date Disston handsaws by the medallion and another site to date Stanley hand planes.

I'll start work on it in about October and post updates. Next time, I'm at the farm, I'll take some pics of the John Deere Model "R" tractor. My brother uses newer tractors now, but he painted it and put John Deere decals on it before he quit using it. He parks it under a shed year-round, now. I'll start another post on that.

Edited by WagonBill, August 14, 2011 - 07:45 PM.