our regularly scheduled broadcast
to bring you this bulletin just in...
It is raining here at 8:30 am...
...it is snowing here at 10:00 am.
It started raining sometime
while we were all tucked in bed
and continued throughout the night
and into the morning
as the Captain was walking the dogs.
As we left the shelter around 10:00
it started snowing
and by the time we...
...stopped at Starbucks
it was sticking.
When we arrived home
this is what the front yard
and the roof looked like.
View out of the parlor bay window.
Now back to our regularly scheduled programming...
This is our No. 4 Roller Bearing
Auto-Wheel Coaster wagon
made by the Buffalo Sled Company,
North Tonawanda, New York,
in the early 1900's.
We traded this wagon
around 45 years ago
from an antiques dealer.
He asked the Captain to do some repair work for him
and said he would trade us the wagon
because he thought it was made
out of pine and didn't want it.
As it turned out the wagon
is made out of oak.
Since that time
it has been in use as our resident
living room coffee table.
It has seen a few transformations over time as to its appearance,
and has always remained a subject of interest
for all who see it.
All information and advertisements provided by Google, courtesy of the North Tonawanda History Museum.
The Buffalo Sled Company
began operations in 1889 in Buffalo, New York
and later moved to North Tonawanda, New York in 1904.
The company remained in operation at that site
until a fire in 1920
destroyed the wheel department and storehouses.
They rebuilt and remained in business
until filing bankruptcy in 1964.
In 1965, the company was operating
under the name Auto Wheel Industries,
and another fire in 1972,
considered the worst in the city's history, demolished the building
along with seven homes.
A preliminary investigation supported the theory
that the fire was intentionally started.
The Auto Wheel Coaster Company
was known through its entire 60 years of operation
for its superior quality.
They made all of their products by hand
and, for this reason,
they eventually went out of business.
During it's lifetime the company sponsored many contests...
...and pictured many children
having fun with the products.
Wagons were described as providing
three full seasons a year
of boyish fun on four steel-tired,
so like those on automobiles of the day
that they gave the wagon its name...
A boy without an Auto-Wheel Coaster
in those days
couldn't have really lived.
...and did you notice
that it is only marketed
to the 'boys'?
I have always wondered
how our wagon was used,
how many little hands pulled it along
by that handle,
and could it have been a prize
that was won in a contest...
...this is one wagon
that was not won in a contest.
This one was hand made by my dad.
He made it out of an old wooden box
for his dog, Brownie, to pull.
Here they both are shown,
probably around 1920.
I wish I could say
that I had the wagon now.
I mentioned before
that our wagon has gone through some transformations
over the years.
It was just a plain wagon
when we purchased it
and we used it as a coffee table,
holding magazines and the occasional jug of flowers.
It collected more magazines
then we had first intended
plus crumbs from various snacks...
...so we added
a piece of glass on top
and that seemed to collect mostly fingerprints
so for use in the new
'work in progress' sitting room,
the Captain added a top
of left over wainscotting
that was used in another project
at the Cottage.
I love how it turned out.
It looks like it was made for the wagon
and reminds me
of an old luggage transporter
awaiting duty at
the train depot.
I can't wait until it is ready for the reveal...
...just a small hint...stay tuned.
By the time I finished this post...
...look at the poor lilacs,
I'm not complaining.
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