Carriage builder J. Stephens Abbot and master wheelwright Lewis Downing built the famed stagecoaches of Wells Fargo & Co. At their factory in Concord, New Hampshire, they perfected the design of the classic American vehicle. It was built high and wide to handle the rough, rutted roads of a new country. The curved frame of the body gave it strength and allowed a touch more elbow room. The perfectly formed, fitted and balanced wheels stood up to decades of drenching mountain storms and parching desert heat.
The unique feature of these coaches was the suspension. Instead of steel springs, the coach body rested on leather thorough braces, made of strips of thick leather. This feature spared the horses from jarring and gave the stagecoach a gentle rocking motion.
Concord Coaches weighted about 2500 pounds and cost about $1100 each including leather and cloth interior.
Their sturdy bodies were glowing carmine or bright vermilion and their running-gear a jaunty yellow. They had pictures of famous beauties or scenery painted on the outside of their doors. There was colour and dash in every line of them, and they carried men on colourful adventures all over the world. They were the Concord Coaches, the last and finest triumph of the stagecoach era.
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