Thursday Trivia

Thirsday Trivia Welcome to Thursday Trivia where we offer up a historical automotive trivia question and you try and solve it before seeing the answer after the jump. It’s like a history test, with cars! This week’s question: What auto maker bought the horse-drawn carriage that carried Abraham Lincoln to Ford’s Theatre? If you think you know the answer don’t wait four-score and seven years to make the jump and see if you are right. 5Lincoln_s_20carriage-thumb-300x199Considering that the automobile wouldn’t be a fixture on the streets of America for another 30 years or so, it’s interesting that there are so many auto-related names involved in the horrible actions that took our 16th President’s life on April 14, 1965. Lincoln, Ford, Booth- all would one day become the names of both well and lessor-known auto makes during the next century. One name connected to that fateful night was also directly connected to an auto brand, just one that’s no longer with us today. From the Studebaker Museum:

Abraham Lincoln took this carriage to Fords Theater in Washington, D.C. on the evening of April 14, 1865, the night of his assassination.

The open barouche model carriage was built by Wood Brothers in 1864 and presented to Lincoln by a group of New York merchants shortly before the president’s second inauguration. The carriage is equipped with six springs and solid silver lamps, door handles and hubcaps. The steps are connected to the doors so that they lower and rise as the doors open and close.

The Studebaker brothers had a great appreciation for the United States and its history. When given the chance to purchase the Lincoln Carriage in 1889, Clement Studebaker moved quickly. Mr. Studebaker bought the vehicle from F. B. Brewer of New York, who had acquired it from Robert Lincoln, the president’s son. The younger Lincoln had sold the carriage shortly after his fathers murder. Studebaker shipped the carriage to Chicago and in August 1890 put it on exhibition on the second floor of the Studebaker Michigan Avenue Repository.

The Lincoln Carriage was one of the first items entered into the Studebaker Corporations historic vehicles collection. Today it is one of the most treasured pieces in The Studebaker National Museum.

The Studebaker Brothers Manufacturing Company, later Studebaker, was well known as well in the 19th Century for the wagons the company built that served the great westward migration. The company’s first automobile, an electric car, was produced in their South Bend Indiana factory in 1897. Production of the Studebaker Electric would begin in earnest after the turn of the century. Their first gasoline-powered vehicle was the Studebaker-Garford automobile of 1904, a car that used the Studebaker chassis and a Garford two-cylinder engine.

Image source: The Studebaker Museum


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