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Late 1800's Parry MFG Co. Horse Roadster

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    Posted 13 years ago

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    I didn't want to spend a fortune on a cart for my first time of training my pony to drive. After much searching, I bought an old cart that was useable for $500- which is cheap for a cart. Upon investigating, I found that the step up plate is a tag for Parry MFG. Company. From the limited history about the company, I found it was made circa 1880s-1910 and was a popular roadster cart, known for it's smoothness. I had intended to find a nice show cart later if the training went well, but I decided to make a project of restoring this one, since antique carts are a rare gem and very appealing to show in. The process was delicate and I had my handy woodcrafter grandpa help me. The old faded, peeling paint had lead it. The entire cart, including the wheels are original wood with a metal rim. Also the tool to get the wheels off was part of the metal whip holder(you could not use a wrench to get the wheels off) The wheel bolt was square shaped. All the tiny bolts and nuts that held the cart together are a weird square shape that modern tools don't match them. I did not remove them because they were stuck good and didn't want to break them since there was nothing wrong with them. The metal parts in the basket and seat had some rust from age, but minor. We did a sandblast and repainted the cart the original red and black colors. I added red scrolls to the back with wood glue. I have received tremendous compliments. Some of my friendly competitors(the older ladies) told me that in their opinion these types of carts fetch anywhere from $3,000-$6,000 because they are rare.


    1. Nancy Salisbury, 13 years ago
      Very nice cart . When I was younger and had horses I bought a doctor's buggy and restored it . The top was missing however . I raised a horse from the time he was four months old with the thought in mind of training him to pull a buggy . I named his Dobbin . The first time I hiched him up you would think that he had been pulling a buggy for years . I used to put him and the buggy in parades and give rides . Then we had to move . I sold the first buggy but kept the horse . After we moved I found another doctor's buggy with the top and was able to restore it . I even reuposltered the seat in diamond tuffting and recovered the top linning it with red velvet to match the seat . We used to take it out on Sunday afternoons and pack a picnic lunch . We would find a nice spot and stop and have lunch . It was a lot of fun and I hope something that our daughter will remember doing . We had a lot of fun with ours , I hope you do with yours . You did a very nice job on restoring it .
    2. poabarnbrat, 13 years ago
      Thanks Nancy. I kept the seat, but made another one for showing. I sold my pony to a local family. The girls want to try this for fun sometime on her . The other day, I was asked if I could do this at a wedding for the first time(but only two people can fit, so the groom would drive??) and there are no nearby carriage services where I live. I wasn't sure, but joked that "there would be a runaway bride"! we will see.
    3. Nancy Salisbury, 13 years ago
      I do not know if I would let someone eles drive or not . Especailly if they are not experienced . You could end up with a broken up cart , hurt people , horse or all of the above then a law suit .
    4. poabarnbrat, 13 years ago
      Yes. and also it has been over a year since I have driven the pony. A good friend of mine asked… and I joked that there would be a run away bride in this! Sometime I will let the girls(new owners) try it after I practice with her. She is a very trusting pony- just not with a wedding scene and inexperienced groom!
    5. RoseannWagner, 9 years ago
      I purchased an old cart a few months ago and we started sanding it down. Took it to an Amish friend to make sure that it was in a safe condition to drive. I asked my son to watch for a name on it when he was sanding it down. He told me there was no name on it. I walked out tonight and the step says "Parry." I started doing some researh and found your article. So, I the proud owner of a Parry cart.

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