Conestoga wagon


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Related to Conestoga wagon: covered wagon

Conestoga wagon

(kŏn'əstō`gə), heavy freight-carrying vehicle of distinctive type that originated in the Conestoga region of Pennsylvania c.1725. It was used by farmers to carry heavy loads long distances before there were railroads to convey produce to markets. Later it was used to carry manufactured goods across the Alleghenies to frontier stores and settlements and to bring back the frontier produce. The transportation of goods by wagon trainwagon train,
in U.S. history, a group of covered wagons used to convey people and supplies to the West before the coming of the railroad. The wagon replaced the pack, or horse, train in land commerce as soon as proper roads had been built.
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 developed into a major business employing thousands of wagons before the railroads crossed the mountains c.1850. The larger Conestoga wagons, usually drawn by six horses, carried loads up to eight tons. The bottom of the wagon box was curved, rising at both ends, so that in going up and down hills the goods would shift less easily and the tailgate would be subjected to less strain. The same curve was carried out in the white hood, at first made of hempen homespun and later of canvas, which rose up and out at each end, covering the front and rear openings with a poke bonnet effect to keep out sun, rain, and dust. The wagons were striking and graceful vehicles as they moved over the hills and were often called "ships of inland commerce." The drivers usually rode the left wheel horse and are credited with originating the American custom of turning out to the right. The prairie schoonerprairie schooner,
wagon covered with white canvas, made famous by its almost universal use in the migration across the Western prairies and plains, and so called in allusion to the white-topped schooners of the sea. It was a descendant of the Conestoga wagon.
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 was a modification of the Conestoga wagon.

Bibliography

See study by G. Shumway and H. C. Frey (3d ed. 1968).

Conestoga wagon

famed covered wagon taking pioneers to West before railroads. [Am. Hist.: NCE, 623]
See: Journey

Conestoga wagon

horse-drawn freight wagon; originated in the Conestoga Creek region in Pennsylvania. [Am. Hist.: EB, III: 72]
References in periodicals archive ?
Just as the Conestoga wagon succeeded the Dearborn when Americans headed for the frontier, the Sisters of Loretto are ready to adapt to new vehicles to carry on their frontier work.
While working on another project, I learned that Conestoga wagons 1reached their peak activity between 1820 and 1840.
Some of the clan began building wagons in their blacksmith shops, and are credited with design and construction of the famous Conestoga wagon with its distinctive boat-like box design.
Bill Eckhoff's red barn, for instance, is packed with everything from a Conestoga wagon to a 1921 John Deere Waterloo Boy tractor, vintage porcelain signs to shop tools, miniature tractors to an original 1911 Mullins boat.
John, the father, and the older boys built a Conestoga wagon for the trip, and the family traveled to Ashland, Ohio, where John built a new home and blacksmith shop.
Western Ave., has 13 Conestoga wagons for overnight lodging.
The Sherman children dubbed their new home-away-from-home "The Covered Wagon" because of its resemblance to the Conestoga wagons of American westward expansion of the nineteenth century.
The so called prairie schooners which carried our early settlers to the new lands in the West were known as Conestoga Wagons hearing the name of the Conestoga River Valley in Pennsylvania where they were constructed.
16, 17, and 18 on Highway 2 between Woodstock and Paris, a historic settlers route for carriages and wagons including the large freight wagons known as Conestoga wagons. The event is a fundraiser for the Brantford General Hospital and will be held at the century farm of Gerry and Fran Morgan, west of Princeton.
The word needs silhouetting silence.) Even so, artful Grande Acquisitors, brahmin grave robbers, shrine desecrators, by degrees made death masks of copped cultures; Inca copper, turquoise, jewelry, Aztec gold and emerald jaguars (they could not mine the sunshine, the light or shadow of the undulating stone Mayan pyramidal snake) stone-tongues alabaster Babylonian tombstones, semi-abstract African masks, attesting to the manifests of Manifest Destiny's slave-ships, galleons and Conestoga wagons: the fine art of holocaust, after holocaust, after....
But what the Court did, in my opinion, was the equivalent of when John Marshall found those first few flecks of gold at Sutter's Mill in 1848: it started the Gold Rush, with tens of thousands of prospectors packing their Conestoga wagons and heading West to seek their fortunes.