Michigan’s Unsung Hero: Those Wonderful Wagons, Early 1900s
Planes, trains, automobiles, bicycles...we have a good amount of travel modes. Rarely do I see anyone mentioning wagons.
According to Britannica.com, wagons have been traced back to 100 BC. So if the rumor is true that a caveman invented the wheel, it took thousands – maybe millions – of years before they were put to use on (what would be called) a wagon.
We all know what wagons were used for over the past centuries: they were usually pulled by horses, oxen, mules, donkeys - and sometimes even people - for deliveries and selling goods. People also used family wagons for taking trips across the land.
Since 1st Century BC, improvements were made over the following hundreds of years. Horse or human-pulled carts were also used for different services, but they only had two wheels; wagons were the preferred choice for business use as they were heavier, could stand more weight, and last longer.
Beginning in the 1500s, a version was presented in carriage form, with coaches protecting the passengers from the elements. These carriages morphed into an offshoot known as stagecoaches, used throughout the country during the 1800s/early 1900s.
A popular wagon was the Conestoga, used for hauling freight in the 1700s; a future version was known as a prairie schooner and were used by settlers as they traveled westward cross-country to find new land and make a living. You've seen 'em in western movies.
The gallery below doesn't include those old Conestogas or schooners, but they do show some old Michigan wagons, used for deliveries and fun for Michiganders in the early 1900s. Take a look!
Michigan's Wagons, Early 1900s
MORE VINTAGE MICHIGAN!