Hansen Wheel and Wagon Shop Hansen Wheel and Wagon Shop

Builder of Authentic Horse-Drawn
Stagecoaches, Wagons & Carriages
Phone: 605-996-8754

Blog Archives - 03/2014

Mar
28

American Chuck Wagons by David Sneed

While the beginnings of the chuck wagon are typically credited to Charlie Goodnight, there are sometimes variations within other parts of the history-telling of this vehicle.  It’s another reminder of the importance of relying on the strength of primary sources to help paint the most accurate pictures.  While we know of no photographs that have survived showing Goodnight’s wagon, there have been plenty of descriptions over the years.  One interesting note from the 1930 book, “Cattle,” (see Feb. 19, 2014 blog post) asserts that Mr. Goodnight’s first chuck wagon was pulled by ten yoke of oxen.  It’s a description that lends added credibility to the purported use of a heavier army wagon as the first chuck wagon.  Clearly this information was procured while Goodnight was still alive as the book was published within months of his death.  These and other period accounts help give us a better glimpse of the origins and all-but-lost details of American chuck wagons. Excerpt from Wheels That Won the West blog by David Sneed.

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