» » Wagons for the Santa Fe Trade: Wheeled Vehicles and Their Makers, 1822-1880

Download Wagons for the Santa Fe Trade: Wheeled Vehicles and Their Makers, 1822-1880 epub

by Mark L. Gardner

This profusely illustrated history explores Santa Fe Trade freight wagons and wagon makers. For a half-century until the railroad reached New Mexico in 1880, hundreds of freight wagons yearly hauled commercial goods over the Santa Fe Trail, the major traffic artery between Missouri and New Mexico. The author identifies wagon types and examines wagon makers and their factories, power sources, woodworking machinery, and construction processes. Individual chapters examine Pennsylvania and Missouri wagons, characteristics of freight wagons, the transition from shop to factory, and Dearborns, personal vehicles, and provision wagons. The author also devotes a chapter to the legendary wind wagon. Appendices offer first-person descriptions of merchant trains, rolling stock, and wagon factories.
Download Wagons for the Santa Fe Trade: Wheeled Vehicles and Their Makers, 1822-1880 epub
ISBN: 0826318460
ISBN13: 978-0826318466
Category: Engineering
Subcategory: Engineering
Author: Mark L. Gardner
Language: English
Publisher: University of New Mexico Press; First Edition edition (May 1, 2000)
Pages: 224 pages
ePUB size: 1230 kb
FB2 size: 1135 kb
Rating: 4.8
Votes: 968
Other Formats: docx lrf azw doc

I have been extremely pleased with the content of this book and the way the information is presented. Little attention has been given to North American historians to the "plains wagon", the mode of transport for thousands and thousands of pioneers, as well as hundreds of tons of goods, across the wide, forboding western frontier of north American in from the 1820s thru the 1880s. The fact that not a single Murphy wagon is still in existance anywhere, when so many were made and it is such a famed wagon, points to the disregard the public and historians have shown for this important implement of the American west. The author does a great job, given the sparce available resources, of reconstructing both the history and the virtual views of these varied wagons. Many companies made the wagons, from different towns across the east, from Missouri to Illinois and beyond, and it was a monumental task to assemble information on such a little known subject, but the author excelled in his history, and presentation. His writing is clear and precise, and a pleasure to read. This volume will stay in my reference library for the remainder of my life, as it is priceless, and enjoyable. I am sure I will go back to it and refer to it many times in years to come.
This is an excellent, well researched work, a great companion to Dary's The Santa Fe Trail. It provides detailed drawings of the wagons, their construction and how they were used. There is even a chapter on Wind Wagon Thomas.
good solid information. a bit lacking on some illustrations but well worth it's price. I would have liked to see more information on construction of the wagon types as well as the methods of harnessing the horses or oxen.
Among the abundance of literature on various aspects of Santa Fe Trail history, Mark Gardner's _Wagons for the Santa Fe Trade_ begins a new dialog about the development and variance of Trade-related wagon technology. The book documents advances in wagon building techniques as the Trade became more complex and sophisticated. The story of Santa Fe Trail wagon making is the story of the growth and changes in the development of wheeled vehicles designed for heavy-duty long range freighting. The Santa Fe Trade was a primary proving ground for freight wagon building and adaptability. This book grew out of a National Park Service report Gardner prepared on Santa Fe Trail wagons intended for use as a resource for the Santa Fe National Historic Trail project. This version is greatly expanded from the original. From the outset it will become obvious to readers how much painstaking work and time went into its production. During the course of his research he discovered a personal side to the story. His chapter "From Shop to Factory" allowed him to connect with the wagon building business through four generations of his own ancestors, some of whom had worked in the Missouri sawmill industry, and had probably cut lumber intended for the construction of the very freight wagons he now writes about. Gardner has a reputation in the profession for sifting through mounds of paper and microfilm, uncovering lost treasures of material. This reviewer has respectfully nicknamed him "The Mole" because of his research skills. His ability to dig and root through archive and manuscript collections and find the most obscure and previously unknown, yet meaningful bits of information has earned him a place among the great names in today's western historiography. With many books and articles to his credit, Mark Gardner is arguably one of the foremost authorities on the Santa Fe Trade. This latest effort guarantees Gardner's place as heir apparent to the title of Dean of Santa Fe Trail historians. _Wagons for the Santa Fe Trade_ is a detailed, yet coherent guide to nineteenth century freight vehicles. It is a highly beneficial research tool, as well as a pleasant recreational read.
Henry B. Crawford, Museum of Texas Tech University, Lubbock, TX
Perhaps the trade in wagons on the Santa Fe Trail is best summarized in one breathtaking quote from a newspaper in 1841:
"Six horse wagons are constructed in Pittsburg, loaded with assorted goods from New York and Philadelphia, transported to Independence in Missouri, and there driven across the country to Mexico . . ."
The great wagons of trade were the means by which the Far West was opened. Mark L. Gardner's "Wagons for the Santa Fe Trade," tells who built these wagons, how they were built and the changes in design as the years passed. Perhaps what comes through most clearly is that the great freight wagons were complex pieces of technology, best constructed by a factory system, not unlike how automobiles are assembled today. By means of these wagons, the South West was brought into contact with the United States, and, eventually, absorbed into the Union. An important and vital chapter of American history well told and well documented.
The final chapter deals with the adventure of the Wind Wagon. In these days of high gas prices it is charming to consider that an attempt was made to avoid high mule prices. A sailed wagon was actually patented (the patent drawings are in the book) and launched. Sometimes the stuff of legend is the truth.