Chariot Made by William Ross for Angelica Campbell, 1792-1802

Summary

Angelica Bratt Campbell's choice of this sporty, two-passenger carriage allowed the wealthy woman to ride in style and comfort. Purchased from New York City coachmaker William Ross, the carriage traveled by boat up the Hudson and Mohawk rivers to Schenectady, where Angelica's husband had made his vast fortune as a trader and merchant. In the late 1790s carriages were much rarer than cars are today. Horses were expensive to maintain, especially for city dwellers. Most people who could afford a carriage had small, open vehicles that they drove themselves. Only the wealthy had closed carriages, in which passengers rode inside protected from the weather, driven by coachmen who sat outside. Coaches held four to six passengers, while chariots held two. To provide a smoother ride over rough roads or cobblestone streets, this chariot's body is suspended from tall iron springs called whip springs. Textiles-expensive at this time-were used lavishly in its interior upholstery and exterior draping.

Angelica Bratt Campbell's choice of this sporty, two-passenger carriage allowed the wealthy woman to ride in style and comfort. Purchased from New York City coachmaker William Ross, the carriage traveled by boat up the Hudson and Mohawk rivers to Schenectady, where Angelica's husband had made his vast fortune as a trader and merchant. In the late 1790s carriages were much rarer than cars are today. Horses were expensive to maintain, especially for city dwellers. Most people who could afford a carriage had small, open vehicles that they drove themselves. Only the wealthy had closed carriages, in which passengers rode inside protected from the weather, driven by coachmen who sat outside. Coaches held four to six passengers, while chariots held two. To provide a smoother ride over rough roads or cobblestone streets, this chariot's body is suspended from tall iron springs called whip springs. Textiles-expensive at this time-were used lavishly in its interior upholstery and exterior draping.

Artifact

Chariot (Carriage)

Date Made

1792-1802

Creators

Horton, I., fl. 1792-1802 

Ross, William S. 

Place of Creation

United States, New York, New York 

Creator Notes

Constructed by William S. Ross in New York, New York, with assistance from blacksmith, I. Horton.

Henry Ford Museum
 On Exhibit

at Henry Ford Museum in Transportation - Carriages

Object ID

29.1126.79.1

Credit

From the Collections of The Henry Ford.

Material

Cloth
Lace (Needlework)
Leather
Metal
Plate (Material)
Silver (Metal)
Wood (Plant material)
Wool (Textile)

Technique

Hand-painted
Plating (Metal coating)
Upholstering

Color

Black (Color)
Gold (Color)
Green
Red

Dimensions

Height: 95.75 in

Width: 75 in

Length: 160.5 in

Wheelbase: 96 in

Diameter: 40.5 in  (Wheel Diameter)

Diameter: 58 in  (Wheel Diameter)

Inscriptions

Location not noted: MADE BY / WILLM ROSS / COACH MAKER / 208 BROADWAY / N.YORK Location not noted: MADE BY WM ROSS / COACHMAKER / BROADWAY / 208 Painted on the lower door panels, and repeated on the front, under the driver's feet and rear body, below the coat-of-arms: NE OBLIVIS CARIS Painted on panels to the back the the doors on both sides: AC Imprinted on the lower portion of the upright springs at the front and back of the carriage: * I. HORTON *

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