Beer Wagon, circa 1900

Summary

During the late 19th and early 20th century, horse-drawn beer wagons like this one were a familiar site on the streets of larger cities, carrying kegs of draft beer to local bars and saloons. These establishments, numerous in poorer neighborhoods, met the needs of working class men by providing a place to socialize after long hours spent working in the factory. Here they could enjoy cool beer along with heavily-salted fare that encouraged thirst. A common type of beer wagon, this vehicle is a truck, with racks to hold the kegs in an inward sloping position so that they would not roll off. More kegs could be loaded on top of the first level, with a few additional kegs hung from hooks underneath. A cover draped over the rail at the top shielded the kegs from the heat of the sun. The front axle has a "fifth wheel" to make it easier to turn the vehicle in city traffic.

During the late 19th and early 20th century, horse-drawn beer wagons like this one were a familiar site on the streets of larger cities, carrying kegs of draft beer to local bars and saloons. These establishments, numerous in poorer neighborhoods, met the needs of working class men by providing a place to socialize after long hours spent working in the factory. Here they could enjoy cool beer along with heavily-salted fare that encouraged thirst. A common type of beer wagon, this vehicle is a truck, with racks to hold the kegs in an inward sloping position so that they would not roll off. More kegs could be loaded on top of the first level, with a few additional kegs hung from hooks underneath. A cover draped over the rail at the top shielded the kegs from the heat of the sun. The front axle has a "fifth wheel" to make it easier to turn the vehicle in city traffic.

Artifact

Wagon

Date Made

circa 1900

Creators

Unknown

Place of Creation

United States 

Creator Notes

Maker is unknown; likely made in the United States

Location

Not on exhibit to the public.

Object ID

29.2048.1

Credit

From the Collections of The Henry Ford.

Material

Metal
Paint (Coating)
Wood (Plant material)

Color

Black (Color)
Dark blue
Red
Yellow

Dimensions

Height: 97 in

Length: 180 in

Wheelbase: 106.5 in

Diameter: 35 in  (Wheel Diameter)

Diameter: 43 in  (Wheel Diameter)

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