The Transportation Collection of the Division of Work & Industry collects, maintains, and exhibits materials documenting developments in American transportation history. Animal-drawn vehicles form an important part of the division's Road Transportation Collections, totaling almost fifty such vehicles, collected in an effort to document each common type of American carriage, sleigh, wagon, and cart. The Road Transportation Collections also include the James Cunningham, Son & Company collection. This Rochester, New York, company produced horse-drawn vehicles from 1838 to 1915 and motor vehicles from 1908-1931. The Cunningham collection is scheduled to be transferred to the AC in the near future. W&I's horse-drawn vehicle material also includes examples of harnesses and saddlery, harness catalogs, and materials relating to carriage-building.
W&I's Engineering Collections include documentary materials on the Hoopes Brothers and Darlington Wheel Works, a major accessory supplier to the carriage trade. Founded in 1866 and active until 1973, this West Chester, PA, company was one of the largest and longest-lived manufacturers of spokes and wheels for horse-drawn vehicles. The company was the focus of a 1969-1970 Smithsonian-sponsored film project to document wheels manufacture. Associated documentation includes operational photographs, factory blueprints, oral history interviews, drawings, extensive research files, and historic photographs and catalogs. This collection will probably also be transferred to the AC in the near future.
The Archives Center also contains some materials relating to horse-drawn vehicles and the harness-making industry. Most obvious among these are the Hagan Brothers Carriage Works Records, a collection of twenty-one volumes, 1882-1903, documenting a carriage-maker in Frederick, Maryland. This collection was purchased with Jackson Funds in July 2009. These records document the typical shop of the "golden age" of carriage building. In addition, the AC also holds the account book of F. Ayres, a Vermont wagon maker active from 1834 to 1869 --pretty much the same time period covered by the Holton volumes. The Warshaw collection includes series on "leather" (four boxes), "horses" (nine boxes), and "wagons" (ten boxes), dating from roughly the 1840s to the 1920s. Together, these series contain receipts, illustrations, trade cards, and catalogs from hundreds of small and large firms dealing in harnesses, saddles, whips, horses, wagons, carriages, buggies, and sundry accessories. However, the AC does not have any collections concerned solely with the harness-making industry.
The NMAH Branch Library has an extensive collection of catalogs from manufacturers of harnesses and other leather goods, carriage and wagon makers, and carriage accessory manufacturers.