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Battle Wagon: 1921

Battle Wagon: 1921

San Francisco circa 1921. "Sheridan touring car at Palace of Fine Arts." A product of the Sheridan Motor Car Co. of Muncie, Indiana, one of the more obscure entries in the Shorpy Catalog of Discontinued Conveyances. And evidently the buggy of choice for Civil War reenactors. Glass negative by Chris Helin. View full size.


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With Six You Get Bedroll

I've lived in Cincinnati many decades, but the Sayers Six is a new one on me. Avondale was one of Cincinnati's plushest neighborhoods in the Twenties, so that was likely the source of the car's model name.

The real thing

I expect that the standup passenger is not re-enacting anything, but is a veteran of the conflict. The last veteran died about 35 years after the date of this picture, so having a live veteran was not unusual at the time.

[The fiftyish fellow with the spirit-gummed mustache isn't old enough. Below, actual Civil War veterans at Gettysburg in 1913. - Dave]

Not Dead Yet

Sayers and Scovill still exist as S&S Coach Company, outfitters of hearses and funeral limousines. They started building horse-drawn buggies, commercial wagons and funeral vehicles in 1876. They built the first motorized ambulance in 1906, and their first hearse automobile in 1912. Their only passenger car seems to be the Sayers Six in the picture, built from 1914 through 1924, with annual output rarely more than 200 per year. After that, they specialized in funeral vehicles. Although the company was sold several times, the brand remains active today.

Nothing Up His Sleeve

It appears the Veteran Has an empty right sleeve.

[Except for the white thing coming out the end, which is his arm. - Dave]

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