1891 Abbot Downing Concord Coach

Summary

Coaches like this are symbols of the American West but they were actually built in New England. Abbot-Downing, of Concord, New Hampshire was the major maker of such coaches. First built in the late 1820s, the Concord coaches featured an innovative suspension system that supported the coach body on thick leather straps called thoroughbraces. This produced a rocking motion over rough roads that was easier on passengers and horses alike. Abbot-Downing not only shipped its coaches west, but exported them to Australia, South America, and South Africa. This one stayed closer to home, carrying passengers and mail in New Hampshire and Maine until the coming of the automobile made it obsolete.

Coaches like this are symbols of the American West but they were actually built in New England. Abbot-Downing, of Concord, New Hampshire was the major maker of such coaches. First built in the late 1820s, the Concord coaches featured an innovative suspension system that supported the coach body on thick leather straps called thoroughbraces. This produced a rocking motion over rough roads that was easier on passengers and horses alike. Abbot-Downing not only shipped its coaches west, but exported them to Australia, South America, and South Africa. This one stayed closer to home, carrying passengers and mail in New Hampshire and Maine until the coming of the automobile made it obsolete.

The coach was used from 1891-1898 by the Pitman Brothers of Lower Bartlett, New Hampshire who operated a hotel located in the White Mountains, a popular summer resort area in the late 19th century called the East Branch House. The coach next served as a passenger and mail coach between York, Maine and Portsmouth, New Hampshire and was known as "The York Mail." After this run was discontinued about 1910, the coach was purchased by the Kearsarge House in Portsmouth, New Hampshire, from which the name appearing on one side of this coach, "The Kearsarge," is derived. The coach was used by the hotel to meet trains, and for coaching parties. With the advent of trolleys and automobiles, the coach fell out of use.

Detailed Description
Material

Wood (Plant material)
Paint (Coating)
Metal
Leather
Cloth

Technique

Painting (Image-making)

Color

Red
Yellow
Black (Color)
Blue

Dimensions

Height: 115 in

Width: 78 in

Length: 152 in

Wheelbase: 89 in

Diameter: 43.75 in  (Wheel Diameter)

Diameter: 60 in  (Wheel Diameter)

Inscriptions

above proper right door: THE KEARSARGE above proper left door: EAST BRANCH HOUSE on upper left door: PITMAN BROS. on rear of body: EAST BRANCH HOUSE undocumented location: ABBOT DOWNING COMPANY CONCORD, N.H. inside lamps: C. COWLES & CO. NEW HAVEN, CT.

Specifications

Make & Model: Abbot Downing Concord coach, 1891

Maker: Abbot, Downing & Company, Concord, New Hampshire

Height: 115 inches

Width: 78 inches

Wheelbase: 89 inches

Overall length: 152 inches

Number of horses: 4

Number of passengers: seats 9

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