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Pulled by 4 horses

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In 1826, skilled wheelwrights, J. S. Abbot and Lewis Downing perfected the first Concord Stagecoach, establishing their wagon factory in New Hampshire. Beyond the renowned Concord models, the factory produced over 40 wagon and carriage types. Mark Twain described the Concord Stagecoach as a “cradle on wheels.” Abbot Downing Company employed a unique suspension system with 3-inch leather straps, providing a smooth, swinging ride.

Externally, these coaches featured bright yellow undercarriages, while the coach color varied based on the buyer’s preference, often scarlet red or green. The exterior was enhanced by glazed door windows, unglazed side windows, and canvas or leather curtains. Plush interiors would have accommodated up to twelve passengers on three upholstered bench seats, with rooftop seating available.

Between 1827 and 1899, Abbot and Downing and Sons produced over three thousand Concord Stagecoaches, gaining a global reputation for ingenuity and quality. Wells Fargo commissioned them to design the iconic Concord stagecoach, a symbol still used by Wells Fargo today.

Serial number 130, an exemplary Concord stagecoach, was commissioned by Pattison and Ward of Kalamazoo, Michigan. Finished in red with russet leather upholstery, damask top, fringe, and lettering, it showcased luxury. This larger-size coach, featuring rooftop seating, retained its original lamps, pole, leader bars, and strong box. Traveling at 5 mph, covering 60-70 miles a day, the journey from Kalamazoo to Grand Rapids took a full 10-hour day, a stark contrast to the swift trips of today, which would now take less than an hour.