CONESTOGA WAGON is one of the most distinctively American vehicles. Originating among the Pennsylvania Dutch, it first came into general use on the overland routes across the Alleghenies just after the American Revolution. The Conestoga wagon was huge and heavily built, with broad wheels suited to dirt roads and a bed higher at either end of the wagon than in the middle. Its canvas-covered top presaged the prairie schooner of a later day. Four to six horses drew it, with the driver usually riding wheelhorses. Sometimes the wagons moved in solitary grandeur but more frequently in long caravans.
Charles H.Ambler/a. e.