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Thread: Historical cart and harness resources

  1. #1
    Back in the saddle Original Poster Starfleet's Avatar
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    Default Historical cart and harness resources

    I'm working on my first diorama - a historical scene - and I'm wondering how to go about finding time-period appropriate resources for the kind of harness and wagon that would have been in use at the time. I've done some google exploration, but I still feel like I'm lost in a sea of information and would appreciate a point in the right direction. All of the harness stuff is brand new to me and a little overwhelming right now.

  2. #2
    Paid Participant papaone1's Avatar
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    Which time period in history are you trying to research? It might be helpful to narrow down the search a bit to keep from going into data overload.

  3. #3
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    Early 1800s, maybe 1810-1820 or so?? But even with that, I'm still not getting great results and I'm hoping there's maybe a website or some resource that I've missed - books would be good too.

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    Paid Participant papaone1's Avatar
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    I see what you mean about all the internet info, way too much info, and not enough specifics for periods etc.

  5. #5

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    Have you tried looking at the works of artists/photographers/engravers known to be active during the periods you are wanting to build a diorama for? After a quick general google image search of 19th century equine art you might try looking at works by George Stubbs, Edward Muybridge, Otto Eerelman,
    Rosa Bonheur, and Edward Lamson Henry. That would probably be a good visual reference so that you have a basis for judging which sites are more accurate.

    And because I was intrigued by how you might narrow things down and find some more trustworthy hard-copy research here's the Carriage Museum of America's website which seems to have a research library semi-available to the public that is willing to field questions; http://carriagemuseumlibrary.org/

    The carriage collection of Long Island's online catalog for some visuals; http://www.aaqeastend.com/contents/portfolio/long-island-museum-carriage-collection-finest-collection-of-horse-drawn-vehicles/

    My suggestion is to find a reputable and dated collection of vehicles like these two sites, or visit a collection/museum if there's one nearby, and pick a cart/carriage that has a named style and/or known manufacturer and narrow your research perimeters down to just that one rig to see if you can find documentation or even recreations of it in use.

  6. #6
    Back in the saddle Original Poster Starfleet's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by GGlover View Post
    Have you tried looking at the works of artists/photographers/engravers known to be active during the periods you are wanting to build a diorama for? After a quick general google image search of 19th century equine art you might try looking at works by George Stubbs, Edward Muybridge, Otto Eerelman,
    Rosa Bonheur, and Edward Lamson Henry. That would probably be a good visual reference so that you have a basis for judging which sites are more accurate.

    And because I was intrigued by how you might narrow things down and find some more trustworthy hard-copy research here's the Carriage Museum of America's website which seems to have a research library semi-available to the public that is willing to field questions; http://carriagemuseumlibrary.org/

    The carriage collection of Long Island's online catalog for some visuals; http://www.aaqeastend.com/contents/portfolio/long-island-museum-carriage-collection-finest-collection-of-horse-drawn-vehicles/

    My suggestion is to find a reputable and dated collection of vehicles like these two sites, or visit a collection/museum if there's one nearby, and pick a cart/carriage that has a named style and/or known manufacturer and narrow your research perimeters down to just that one rig to see if you can find documentation or even recreations of it in use.
    Oh this is fantastic, thank you!! I'm going to start checking those things out, thank you so much, that's perfect!

  7. #7

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    You're welcome

  8. #8

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    "Wheels: A Pictorial History" by E. Tunis might be worth looking for. We have a copy in the library that is used periodically by people for painting/art references, as is "Wheel's West: 1590 - 1900" by R. Dunlop. Both are dirt cheap on ebay/amazon/Abebooks for used copies.

    We have a local man with quite the collection of horse-draw farm equipment and farm wagons. Most are later 1800's/early 1900's but if there's a particular piece you want me to check with him about, let me know. If he has one, I can go take measurements/photos.
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