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Personal Transportation: 1921

Personal Transportation: 1921

Washington, D.C., circa 1921. "Brodt horse." A fine-looking rig, ready for courting or calling. National Photo Company Collection glass negative. View full size.


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From my wife:

"This is a classic runabout, which was both ubiquitous and considered the “Corvette” of the late 19th and early 20th Centuries. Tens of thousands were built by all kinds of buggy makers. Mine, probably circa 1895, is Amish built...simple, sturdy design that some hundred years later is still giving excellent service with a minimal amount of upkeep (paint jobs, regreasing hubs & fifth wheel). A true classic...and in this picture it's pulled by a hefty Standardbred who looks like he could give a good account of himself in a whirlwind ride home from church!"

The good old days.

Around the turn of the 20th century, every prosperous farmer kept a rig and horse like this for going to church. Some of the finest harness races of the day occurred between apparently disinterested farmers on their way to church.

The buggy driver

Is a dead ringer for Doc Durant from "Hell on Wheels."

ZOMG (=Golly!)

My wife has the same runabout! A couple of minor differences (hers did not come with the canopy nor night travel options) but the suspension, chassis and such are identical. Nor does she have such a nifty skimmer.

Bought it at an auction about 12 years ago, restored it herself (I notice the box and seat support have been rebuilt completely), and drives it around the neighborhood pulled by her standardbred. She is returning from a short trip tomorrow and I'm sure she would love to add something about its history here for us.

Brodt Horse

Washington Post, May 5, 1912.

Charles L. Brodt Will Breed Coach Horses at Historic “Maplewood.”

One of the finest country estates in Virginia, known as Maplewood, situated on the new turnpike between Washington and Fairfax Courthouse, about 10 miles from the White House, was sold during the past week to Charles. L. Brodt, a capitalist of New York and Paris, who expects to live there most of the time after making extensive improvements on the property. …

The new owner expects to breed coach horses on the estate, and will bring a large number of prize winning animals to this country from France during the coming summer.

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