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  • Studebaker wagons

    I read an article a while back (in TW?) that Studebaker wagons had angled spokes on their wheels. Was this unique to Studebaker? I recently saw a collection of old wagons, mostly freight, and most had angled spokes but I couldn't find any manufacturers identification on any of them. A lot of the wood on the wagons appeared to be original. Just curious.
    Click image for larger version

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    Rick
    Kingman, AZ

  • #2
    I think on the Studebaker wagons it was a combination of angling and squaring the spokes at the hub. There was one other wagon maker I believe that used this style wheel but Studebaker pioneered the idea. They proved to be much stronger and durable. I have seen photos of Studebaker wagons piled impossibly high with freight to prove the point. There are some good articles about wagon history in general and some specifics about Studebakers to be found online. You may also find some good information in this forum by doing a search.
    B-T-W, there is a Studebaker doctor's buggy sitting right next to another one by another maker in the WAAAM museum in Hood River, Oregon and the difference in the quality of the construction and attention to detail are striking. No wonder Studebaker sold so many.
    Ed Sallia
    Dundee, OR

    Sol Lucet Omnibus

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    • #3
      I believe you may be referring to Studebaker's patented "Slope Shoulder Spokes" as shown in the illustration below. One would have to remove the spokes from the hub to verify a Studebaker wagon as the feature is not obvious from a casual inspection. Since it was patented I doubt whether it was used by other manufacturers.

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      Richard Quinn
      Editor emeritus: Antique Studebaker Review

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      • #4
        This topic came up yesterday when Cari and I drove 400 miles (OK, 399.8 by the trip odometer) around Indiana to visit Indiana's two Gene Stratton-Porter Historical Sites. (Gene Stratton-Porter was a famous Hoosier woman naturalist/writer/photographer, despite the spelling of her name, born in 1863.)

        Her first home is in little Geneva IN in the extreme east central part of the state. There, a period wagon is displayed outside the carriage house. It is not purported to be Gene's; it's just a period piece to add to the ambiance. I doubt that it is a Studebaker wagon, but took some photos nonetheless.

        Can anyone confirm this is, or is not, a Studebaker?

        Hub end of wheel spoke:



        Rim end of wheel spoke:



        Rear of Chassis:



        Side Boards where identifying script would normally be placed. There simply is none, and/or no trace of there ever having been any:





        Decoration at bottom of box:



        Thanks for any input. I chatted with the tour guide as there was only one couple on that tour besides us. (And a small world, too: The other couple was touring from Montana. The gentleman was not an SDC member, but he vaguely knew Ingvar Vik from Livingston, and the couple had just been to the Auburn-Cord-Duesenberg museum in Auburn. There, they had encountered one of the museum's volunteers, Jon Bill. I knew Jon well at Purdue and Jon is a former SDC member!)

        Anyway, any help identifying the wagon in the above photos would be appreciated, even to the extent of stating conclusively that it is not a Studebaker. Thanks. BP

        Last edited by BobPalma; 09-26-2013, 12:26 PM. Reason: spelling
        We've got to quit saying, "How stupid can you be?" Too many people are taking it as a challenge.

        Ayn Rand:
        "You can avoid reality, but you cannot avoid the consequences of avoiding reality."

        G. K. Chesterton: This triangle of truisms, of father, mother, and child, cannot be destroyed; it can only destroy those civilizations which disregard it.

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        • #5
          I get that question frequently. No real way to say one way or another. The paint striping looks similar but I am guessing most farm wagon builders used similar paint schemes. The image below from 1893. The last (1919) Studebaker wagon is in the museum. Might get some clues from that.

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          Richard Quinn
          Editor emeritus: Antique Studebaker Review

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          • #6
            Thanks for the feedback, Dick. I am hoping that, by bumping this, others will realize the photos are here in this topic and will weigh in if anything definitive can be established.

            It almost looks like you have to cut the hub open to see if the spokes are slope-shouldered, unfortunately. BP
            We've got to quit saying, "How stupid can you be?" Too many people are taking it as a challenge.

            Ayn Rand:
            "You can avoid reality, but you cannot avoid the consequences of avoiding reality."

            G. K. Chesterton: This triangle of truisms, of father, mother, and child, cannot be destroyed; it can only destroy those civilizations which disregard it.

            Comment


            • #7
              BP: Gene Stratton-Porter's Historic Site at Sylvan Lake in Rome City, Indiana was her second home, as you are aware. It was also known as the "Cabin at Wildflower Woods." You and Cari packed it in visiting both sites in one day. Just six miles from where I lived as a child. Both homes are very interesting. We had a visitor from Ireland when we lived in Michigan. One visit she wanted to make was the Sylvan Lake site, as she had read the author's books. She obviously lived in an era when many Studebaker wagons were in service. I wonder if the Amish were users, also?
              "Growing old is mandatory, but growing up is optional." author unknown

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              • #8
                Spokes

                Actually, the angle I was referring to was the angle of the spokes between the hub and the rim. Rather than being in a straight line from hub to rim, they went on a slight outward angle, giving the wheel a dished appearance.
                Rick
                Kingman, AZ

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by Bob Bryant View Post
                  BP: Gene Stratton-Porter's Historic Site at Sylvan Lake in Rome City, Indiana was her second home, as you are aware. It was also known as the "Cabin at Wildflower Woods." You and Cari packed it in visiting both sites in one day. Just six miles from where I lived as a child. Both homes are very interesting. We had a visitor from Ireland when we lived in Michigan. One visit she wanted to make was the Sylvan Lake site, as she had read the author's books. She obviously lived in an era when many Studebaker wagons were in service. I wonder if the Amish were users, also?
                  Interesting, Bob; thanks.

                  We read some local material about Genvea on the second floor of her Limberlost Home there. It referenced a David(?) Studebaker as being a local judge in the early part of the 1900s that had something to do with laying out part of the town and/or settling a boundary dispute.

                  After visiting the Sylvan Lake site, we had lunch at The St. James in Avilla with my long-time friend Denny Parr from Purdue. Denny now lives on the farm that has been in his family, north of Kendallville, since 1899. Then we went south on 3 and 27 to Geneva. 'Got home about 8:30 in the evening. It was a long day but a wonderful trip.

                  Now if somebody just knew something for sure about that horse-drawn farm wagon I photographed in Post #4! It is sitting in the stable at the Geneva site. BP

                  We've got to quit saying, "How stupid can you be?" Too many people are taking it as a challenge.

                  Ayn Rand:
                  "You can avoid reality, but you cannot avoid the consequences of avoiding reality."

                  G. K. Chesterton: This triangle of truisms, of father, mother, and child, cannot be destroyed; it can only destroy those civilizations which disregard it.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by sasquatch View Post
                    Actually, the angle I was referring to was the angle of the spokes between the hub and the rim. Rather than being in a straight line from hub to rim, they went on a slight outward angle, giving the wheel a dished appearance.

                    Actually Rick, all wagon and carriage wheels are set up like this. Dish can be a problem though when the spokes aren't running straight up and down from the hub to the ground. If they aren't straight at this point, the wheel will come apart.

                    As to the Studebaker patent spoke, it was aptly described by the advert shared by Mr. Quinn. Additionally, Studebaker did other improvements to the lighter wheels: the spoke had a tapered profile at the end inserted into the hub. Shaped somewhat like a chisel tip. This is what Studebaker improved the most. This tapered profile enabled them to produce a wheel that held up better to stress and wear as well as better handling the changes of moisture during the year. ie: it didn't become loose in the summer when drying out and overly tight in the winter (the result of which is over-dishing). Studebaker also developed the practical bolt and riveted-hub wheel for buggies and carriages. In this process, they effectively eliminated the wood hub and replaced it with metal, for the most part, and produced a stronger wheel in the end. Wagons however, still retained the wooden hub and so on till the end. Though it was much improved, the changes weren't very obvious to the casual observer.

                    Patented or not, the spokes and other improvements Studebaker made were copied freely throughout the industry.

                    Bob, you don't have to cut into the hub to check the spokes. You do however, have to dis-assemble the wheel. This is done by removing the bolts holding the (steel) tyre on, then carefully knocking off one of the fellowes (the wooden rim) with a mallet, then carefully working the spoke out of the hub. Yeah, they'll slip right out! This is why setting the tyre properly was so important. It had to be tight or the entire wheel will fall apart, or just wobble alarmingly. Wagon wheels however, are constructed so heavily that they are more tolerant of a loose tyre than are buggy or Carriage wheels.

                    Last edited by studeclunker; 09-27-2013, 11:54 AM.
                    Home of the famous Mr. Ed!
                    K.I.S.S. Keep It Simple Studebaker!
                    Ron Smith
                    Where the heck is Fawn Lodge, CA?

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by sasquatch View Post
                      I read an article a while back (in TW?) that Studebaker wagons had angled spokes on their wheels. Was this unique to Studebaker? I recently saw a collection of old wagons, mostly freight, and most had angled spokes but I couldn't find any manufacturers identification on any of them. A lot of the wood on the wagons appeared to be original. Just curious.
                      [ATTACH=CONFIG]27992[/ATTACH]

                      The running gear on this wagon is quite old. However the box has been replaced. Also, notice how the seat is attached. There should be iron hangars off the sides of the body holding those seat springs. Also, as old as that gear is, there wouldn't have been springs on the seat. Then again, this was something that was available aftermarket to anyone with a catalogue. The hangars were available with the springs as a kit, still are as a matter of fact. The attempt was good, however the execution could have been better. Nonetheless, only an old pedantic like myself would have noticed. It looks good and I suppose that's all that matters.
                      Home of the famous Mr. Ed!
                      K.I.S.S. Keep It Simple Studebaker!
                      Ron Smith
                      Where the heck is Fawn Lodge, CA?

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Thanks Ron. That pretty much explains what I was curious about. They had 6 or 8 wagons on display there and they all had the dished wheels. Didn't figure they could all be Studebakers!
                        Rick
                        Kingman, AZ

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by sasquatch View Post
                          Thanks Ron. That pretty much explains what I was curious about. They had 6 or 8 wagons on display there and they all had the dished wheels. Didn't figure they could all be Studebakers!

                          LOL, considering the enormous volume of wagons Studebaker produced, they very well may be all Studebakers!
                          Add to the equation the quality of construction that was the hallmark of Studebaker and the chances are even higher! Just about every large town's blacksmith could and did build wagons for the local use. Many of them were built partly or entirely out of Studebaker parts (available through a large catalogue the company produced). Many of the current implement makers used to build wagons as well, John Deere, for example. None however, had the reputation of durability and quality that Studebaker did. If Brewster was the king of fine carriages in this country, Studebaker was the king of quality wagons world-wide.
                          Home of the famous Mr. Ed!
                          K.I.S.S. Keep It Simple Studebaker!
                          Ron Smith
                          Where the heck is Fawn Lodge, CA?

                          Comment

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