The Conestoga wagon originated in the Conestoga Valley near Lancaster, PA around 1750. It was the primary freight carrier over the Appalachians and was instrumental in opening commerce to Pittsburgh and Ohio.
The wagon was shaped like a boat with both ends curved upward to keep its load from shifting while climbing the steep Appalachian roads. Large wheels kept the cargo dry when crossing rivers, and a water-proof canvas cover protected passengers from heat, rain and snow. The frame and suspension were made of oak and poplar; the wooden wheels were iron rimmed for greater durability. Barrels on the sides of the wagon were used to hold water and toolboxes held tools needed for repairs. A grease bucket tied to the back to made sure that axels and wheels were properly greased.
The average Conestoga wagon was 21 feet long, 11 feet high and 4 feet wide and weighed close to a ton . It was a large, lumbering vehicle that could carry up to 8 tons of cargo. It travelled about 15 miles a day. Because of its tremendous size and weight, the Conestoga wagon required between four and twelve horses to pull it. Although oxen could be used, horses were preferred.
• Length 229mm (19”)
• Height 200mm (8”)
• Width 150mm (6”)
Scale 1” = 12” (1:12) or in metric .25mm = 300mm (1:12)