Pole Barn Vehicles
Traveling Store, Acc.#1977.52
This type of commercial vehicle brought supplies and some luxury items to its rural customers. Farm housewives would look forward with enthusiasm to visits by the peddler's wagon. This vehicle, used by O.S. Aiken of King Ferry, NY, was built in Ithaca. His inventory would have included boots, shoes, tobacco, fabrics, pots & pans, and other dry goods. The driver would often buy, or take in trade, junk and rags. The undercarriage is not original, and was probably originally an agricultural wagon, due to its heavy frame.
Maker and date unknown
Sleigh on Bobs, Acc. # 1977.84
This two-seated bob sleigh (four passengers) was restored in 2002. This sleigh is used for Sunday sleigh rides during the winter on the Granger Homestead grounds.
Sleigh on Bobs, Acc. #1977.44
This two-seated bob sleigh (four passengers) was restored in 2001. This type of sleigh was typically found in a town or city carriage house, rather than in the country. Unlike most sleighs, it had springs. Some standard equipment that usually came with a sleigh like this included a plated dash rail, whip socket, and a shifting rail for side draft. Extras included red or green horsehair plumes, a dash screen, spring back seats, and nickel-plated arm rails.
Wm. H Rowerdink, Rochester, NY, c.1900
Extension Top Phaeton, Acc. # 1977.20
The class of vehicles referred to as phaetons exhibited great variety in function and appearance. However, one feature which was characteristic of the phaetons from early in their development was that they were usually owner, rather than coachman, driven. This example of a phaeton, purchased from The Zabriski estate in Aurora, NY, represents a practical, relatively inexpensive family vehicle which would seat 4-6 people. The extension top and removable side curtains gave riders some protection from the weather. This model is the precursor of the family station wagon.
Flandrau, NYC, c. 1890
Stick Seat Surrey, Acc. # 1977.39
This surrey features an old style of carriage seat with plain spindles framed between the seat rail and the seat bottom. This vehicle, which has been fully restored, may have originally had a standing top. It is used today for weddings.
RJ Smith Carriage Co., Rochester, NY, 1890
Macedon Pumper, No Acc. #
This pumper is on loan, not a part of our permanent collection. It was restored for the Macedon Fire Dept. in 1983. It would have been pulled by men, not horses. The pumps would have been operated by as many as 20 men at a time.
Maker unknown, c. 1840
Pony Phaeton, Acc. # 1993.14A
The term "phaeton" derives from Greek mythology. Phaeton, a son of Helios, God of the Sun, drove his father's sun chariot recklessly through the sky, and nearly set the Earth on fire. The name phaeton came to describe a wide range of light, four-wheeled horse-drawn vehicles used for both personal and commercial use. This example may have been driven by a child. The door is an unusual feature.
Maker and date unknown. Quite possibly a vehicle from the 1930s or later.
Back-to-Back Gig, Acc. # 2004.1.9
This Back-to-Back Gig was made in England. It features a concave patent leather dashboard and caned panels, resembling the Hansom cabs used in London. Affluent Americans who could afford to import vehicles might have owned one like this in the last century. This Gig has an adjustable seat to position the weight of the passengers evenly over the axle and balance the weight on the back of the horse. When used with only two people, the seat would be placed slightly backward. For four people, the rear compartment folds down, the seat is repositioned to balance the load, and two passengers would be seated facing the rear. Therefore, four passengers would be carried "back-to-back."
1890, maker unknown
Victoria, Acc. # 2004.1.8
This elegant, formal vehicle was named after Queen Victoria of England and would have been driven by a coachman with a groom. Designed to hold two adults, it has a folding jump seat right behind the driver's perch that could accommodate a small passenger. This vehicle is a "cut under," meaning that the front wheels can turn sharply and cut under the body without hitting. The reach is the support the goes from the front axle to the back axle. The top folds down and can be used as an open or semi-covered vehicle.
1880, maker unknown
Trap, Acc. # 2004.1.7
The trap is a vehicle with an unusual body arrangement, as the front seat divides to allow access to the rear seat. The back of the rear seat could be folded down when not in use. The vehicle is appropriately named "trap" because the passengers in the back seat cannot get out without the assistance of those in the front seat. Some traps have rear seats facing backward. These are called back-to-back traps. This vehicle is unusual for its wooden dashboard and fenders. These are often made of leather. Addison Wilbur, overseer for Mary Clark Thompson at Sonnenberg, Canandaigua, once owned this vehicle and later gave it to Joe Cribb.
1890, maker unknown