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Our holdings include hundreds of glass and film negatives/transparencies that we've scanned ourselves; in addition, many other photos on this site were extracted from reference images (high-resolution tiffs) in the Library of Congress research archive. (To query the database click here.) They are adjusted, restored and reworked by your webmaster in accordance with his aesthetic sensibilities before being downsized and turned into the jpegs you see here. All of these images (including "derivative works") are protected by copyright laws of the United States and other jurisdictions and may not be sold, reproduced or otherwise used for commercial purposes without permission.

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[REV 25-NOV-2014]

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Goat Boy

Goat Boy

My uncle (Robert Smith) poses in a small wagon harnessed to a goat during 1926 in La Crosse, Wisconsin. An unknown traveling photographer armed with the wagon and goat must have gone from door-to-door charging a fee to take such pictures because local photo archives contain similar pictures showing different children posing with the very same wagon and goat during the 1924-1926 time period.

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I'm coming round to thinking there are no coincidences, but the odds that I would land on this page six months after a cousin gave me a photo of his dad and my uncle sitting in the same cart (and with what appears to be the same goat, but sheared for the summer) in 1924 in Ogden, UT (the year my dad was born) have to be astronomical.

Traveling Goat Cart Guy obviously got around and made some kind of living doing this. And now I'm trying to imagine how my grandparents came be in touch with him. Did he advertise in local papers? Get out on the main streets with his rig and a sign? Or....?

PS's: I wouldn't have the picture if I hadn't leased some land from my cousin last year. We hadn't been in touch in many years. So in doing the lease, he mentioned he had some pictures of our branch of the family from my grandma and let me scan them - with this being the best find of the bunch.

And I wouldn't have ended up here if my nephew hadn't posted a listing he came across for a military surplus portable darkroom on facebook today. He's a pro photog who specializes in old photographic processes - which gave me the idea to suggest he buy it and recreate the whole traveling era. So was searching for an image of a classic Matthew Brady type traveling setup when this pic just leaped out at me.

But very cool and many thanks for posting. Gives much more context to the story and therefore to our family history!

James H. Keller


I like driving goat carts because you can drive them through snow and mud it is so fun. driving is my favorite thing. my name is conrad and I am 14 and I love to drive.

Goat Cart Information

I found your posting very interesting. Do you have additional information about the goat carts? I belong to an antique interest group and I am working on a paper. There is not much information on this topic. I collect the photo postcards of children in goat carts and would love to learn more about them. Would appreciate any additional information you may have. Thank you!

[With comments like this, there's always the possibility that the person who posted the photo will never see your question. But if you register as a Shorpy user, you can click on the photo-poster's name and use the contact form to e-mail him or her directly. And that concludes my PSA for the day. - Dave]


Amazing...I have a picture of two of my grandmother's cousins sitting in the same kind of cart with the same breed of goat. They lived in Texas. It's interesting how something like "a kid in a goat cart" could be a popular business.

Wagon makes the rounds

I have a picture of my then 9 year old grandmother in the very same model wagon taken in Los Angeles CA 1928.

Studebaker Junior

That wagon is very likely a "Studebaker Junior," patterned after the farm wagons built through 1920 by Studebaker. The full-size wagon business was then sold to the Kentucky Wagon Manufacturing Company, of Louisville, but the Juniors continued to be built by the South Bend Toy Company through 1941. This wagon is shown with the optional shafts which allowed for up to two-"goatpower."

The same wagon could also be fitted with runners, converting it to a sleigh.

Circa 1920, the wagon cost $7.50.

My Mom

I have pictures of my Mom at age 2, c. 1938 in Texas, in a similar getup...

goat and cart

My mother is in a photo much like this one in Mempis in 1925. She and her twin brother are in the cart. Her older brother and sister are standing beside the cart behind the goat. She was under a year old in the photo.


I'm jealous of him. Ridiculous as it sounds, I think it would be pretty darn cool to have a picture taken like this.

SHORPY HISTORICAL PHOTO ARCHIVE | History in HD is a vintage photo archive featuring thousands of high-definition images from the 1850s to 1960s. (Available as fine-art prints from the Shorpy Archive.) The site is named after Shorpy Higginbotham, a teenage coal miner who lived 100 years ago.

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