Conestoga Wagon

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CONESTOGA WAGON

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.

BIBLIOGRAPHY

Gardner, Mark L. Wagons for the Santa Fe Trade: Wheeled Vehicles and Their Makers, 1822–1880. Albuquerque: University of New Mexico Press, 2000.

Charles H.Ambler/a. e.

See alsoCovered Wagon ; Transportation and Travel ; Wagon Trains ; Wagoners of the Alleghenies .

Conestoga wagon

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Con·es·to·ga wag·on / ˌkänəˈstōgə/ • n. hist. a large covered wagon used for long-distance travel, typically carrying pioneers in the westward migration.

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Conestoga wagon

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