Park Drag, or Private Road Coach, 1893

Summary

The demanding sport of driving a heavy road coach pulled by four horses was an appealing way for the elite to display wealth and impress others during the late 19th and early 20th century. A related vehicle was the park drag-similar in look but slightly lighter than the road coach. It was extremely popular as an outing vehicle for wealthy gentlemen, their families and friends. This vehicle is a combination. It has the sporting look of a road coach and the more formal social amenities found in the park drag. The park drag experience was about fun and being seen, rather than mastering a challenging sport. Park drags-filled with their monied and leisured passengers-appeared at horse races (providing a great view from the top seats), picnics in the country, watering places of the elite like Newport, Rhode Island, and circling New York's Central Park in view of admiring spectators. Servants sat inside the vehicle, ready to serve food and drinks carried in specially constructed compartments inside and outside the vehicle. George A. Newhall, a San Francisco businessman and socialite, bought this park drag while it was exhibited at the World's Columbian Exposition in Chicago in 1893. Like other manufacturers, carriage maker C.P. Kimball and Company of Chicago proudly sent its best products to be admired by the millions of people who attended the fair.

The demanding sport of driving a heavy road coach pulled by four horses was an appealing way for the elite to display wealth and impress others during the late 19th and early 20th century. A related vehicle was the park drag-similar in look but slightly lighter than the road coach. It was extremely popular as an outing vehicle for wealthy gentlemen, their families and friends. This vehicle is a combination. It has the sporting look of a road coach and the more formal social amenities found in the park drag. The park drag experience was about fun and being seen, rather than mastering a challenging sport. Park drags-filled with their monied and leisured passengers-appeared at horse races (providing a great view from the top seats), picnics in the country, watering places of the elite like Newport, Rhode Island, and circling New York's Central Park in view of admiring spectators. Servants sat inside the vehicle, ready to serve food and drinks carried in specially constructed compartments inside and outside the vehicle. George A. Newhall, a San Francisco businessman and socialite, bought this park drag while it was exhibited at the World's Columbian Exposition in Chicago in 1893. Like other manufacturers, carriage maker C.P. Kimball and Company of Chicago proudly sent its best products to be admired by the millions of people who attended the fair.

Artifact

Coach (Carriage)

Date Made

1893

Location

Not on exhibit to the public.

Object ID

36.520.71

Credit

From the Collections of The Henry Ford.

Material

Paint (Coating)
Silver (Metal)
Upholstery
Wood (Plant material)
Wool (Textile)

Technique

Plating (Metal Coating)

Color

Beige (Color)
Black (Color)
Maroon
Red
White (Color)

Dimensions

Height: 103 in

Width: 77 in

Length: 142.5 in

Wheelbase: 75.5 in

Diameter: 40.5 in  (Wheel Diameter)

Diameter: 50.5 in  (Wheel Diameter)

Inscriptions

Inscribed on side lamps and on the hubs: C.P. KIMBALL & CO. / CHICAGO Painted underneath the slanted footboard, on the rear boot panel, and on each door: GAN

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