1890 Horse Drawn Brewer’s Wagon

BB 2 Horse Drawn Brewer's Wagon.jpg
BB 2 Horse Drawn Brewer's Wagon.jpg

1890 Horse Drawn Brewer’s Wagon


50 years ago, when these prints were made, several breweries delivered beer by dray or wagon. Whitbread was one: at their Garrett Street stables in the City 10 drays and 6 wagons were kept with a team of 28 Shire geldings to pull them. These great horses were up to a ton in weight. Beer was first transported by hand barrow, then horse-drawn drag - a pair of shafts pulled along the ground with the barrels roped to the base. The term 'dray' is applied to an open vehicle with no sides. This is a wagon, a development of the dray, dated 1890, built of English oak except the pole, shaped in straight-grained American hickory. The rear wheels were 142 cm high and the rims or felloes shaped from 7 sections of timber each having 2 spokes tenoned into it. The front wheels, 100 cm high, are similarly constructed but of six sections. The hubs or naves are turned 46 cm square timber and the spokes are set to dish the wheels outwards, which, together with the whole wheel being slightly tilted from the axle bed, resists side thrusts. Both axles are U-bolted to semi-elliptic springs, the rear of the body being directly suspended and the front resting on the fore-carriage. The fore-carriage swivels 90 degrees on a steel bearing allowing a complete turn inside 7.6 m. A treadle brake with locking ratchet clamps a beechwood block on to the iron tyres of the rear wheels for braking. Descending steep hills a skid pan is used - an iron shoe chained to the fore-carriage slipped under one of the rear wheels which has been locked with a rope. For ascending a pointed perch pole slung under the rear of the body is trailed behind and bites into the road if the wagon slips backwards. slips backwards.

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Length: 4.4 m (14ft 3 ½ in)

Width: 2.3 m (7ft 7 ½ in)

Height: 2.8 m (9 ft 2 ½ in)

Unladen Weight: c. 1,800 Kg (2 tons)

Payload up to: 3,490 Kg (3 tons 17 cwt)

Front track: 1.99 m (6 ft 6 in)

Rear track: 2 m 6 ft 6 ½ in

Wheelbase: 2.01m (6 ft 7 in)

Tyres: Steel

Springs front and rear: Semi-elliptic