Modes of Travel of Yesteryear

History of the Quilt


Project Description

Evaluations of Accomplishments

Future Plans for the Project

Proposal Letter

Request to Commissioners

Biographies by Homemakers Clubs

Biographies by Friends of the Library


"Modes of Travel of Yesteryear"

"Modes of Travel of Yesteryear" is one of three squares entered by the Progressive Extension Homemakers Club for Harnett County's 1989 Historical Quilt.

This square depicts two of the most common means of travel, the wagon and the buggy, used by the average citizen at the time Harnett was formed in 1855. Their use was also extended well into the first quarter of the twentieth century.

The wagon of many sizes and colors, the buggy, plain and fancy, were drawn by one or more horses or mules. Primarily, the wagon was used for hauling purposes like merchandise supplies, farm produce, food, farm implements, firewood, furniture, etc., and when not used for hauling supplies, the family transported themselves to church, to public gatherings, to school, to entertainment centers, and to other places of interest in the wagon.

When cotton was King, the farmer hauled hand picked cotton from the fields to the gin for baling, and once baled, to market for sale. It was not until after WWI that the automotive truck, known as the "pick-up", replaced the wagon, and became cheap enough and plentiful enough for general public use. Of all the makes there are today, Ford was the first.

At one time in this era, manufacturing and sale of wagons was big business, especially in nearby Carthage in Moore County, and in Dunn, in our own county of Harnett.

When one wanted a more sedate and comfortable means of travel, the buggy for short distances was the choice. Rubber tires, padded seats with springs, upholstered in leather, velvet or satin, made any spin most delightful. Most average families owned a buggy, with or without a top, with either plain or fancy trappings. The affluent might own a carriage, a two-seater, enclosed with doors on both sides, or an open air two-seat surrey with fringe on top.

Generally, the doctor in one's community was the first to own a fine buggy and a spirited horse. For him, it was essential in his practice. However, it was only a short while before the lawyers thought likewise and even courting swains became enamored.

By the early twenties, when Ford had perfected the Model T and several million had been sold, the buggy vanished to a collector's site, and the wagon became a scarce object. A new day had arrived! An average car could be purchased for only $720 in 1932, one cheap enough anyone could afford during the Great Depression.

This square was designed, appliquéd, and embroidered by Evelyn Byrd, a member of the Summerville Extension Homemakers Club for the Progressive Club.

Source: World Book Encyclopedia -1933 Automotive -p. 537

Written by: Evelyn Byrd, Member of Summerville Extension Homemakers Club

For: Progressive Extension Homemakers Club

Quilt Square: Row 2, Number 9