This section – a gift to AIMA newsletter readers from members and friends – started out small, then grew and grew, thanks to the generosity and enthusiasm of our contributors, so here is a medley of images from around the world, with some technical details thrown in to add to the pleasure. We begin here with an article contributed by the French expert on farm vehicles, Etienne Petitclerc, and move on to fine collections, large and small, but, first of all, special thanks to our contributors: Barbara Corson, Brecht Demasure, Victor Hugo Gomes, Målfrid Grimstvedt, José Luis Mingote Calderón, Etienne Petitclerc, Bob Powell, Debra A. Reid, Fideliu Rubinescu-Ostriceanu, Pete Watson and the Écomusée d’Alsace.
Etienne Petitclerc will kick off with thoughts about past and present-day animal draft and conservation of heritage vehicles in France. Elodie Massouine, at the COMPA in Chartres, France, will turn to the very small is beautiful, with a collection of model farm carts and wagons, and a hint at the wealth of their photographic archives. Brecht Demasure at the Centre for Agrarian History in Belgium will share three examples from the ‘Collection Bulskampveld’ from Flanders. Then, Bob Powell goes into the detail of one sort of cart-wagon typical of the Eastern Countries of England – the hermaphrodite. This is followed by a summary of the English cart and wagon expert David Viner’s outstanding source book on the subject and a note from the Guild of Model Cartwrights, equally expert in fine-detail models of historical vehicles and implements. Back to the continent! where Målfrid Grimstvedt will take up three examples of horse-driven transport for humans and harvests in Norway, while Hanna Ignatowicz in Poland, provides a medley of very different transport uses, including “railroading” beets. Fideliu Rubinescu-Ostriceanu tells us the story of one highly decorative horse cart, mainly used on festive occasions and today a part of the heritage of Ialomiţa judeţ in southeastern Romania. José Luis Mingote Calderón concentrates on the Portuguese sources in postcards, especially on the carts with a moving axle and fixed wheel. In Goa, India, Victor Hugo Gomes introduces us to a small part of his own collection of vehicles of every sort and his love of highly crafted objects. Turning to The United States, Barbara Corson uses a single example to explain how two-wheeled dump carts were constructed and functioned. Pete Watson, in the U.S.A., emphasizes how cost-conscious farmers were, devising ways to efficiently transform vehicles to operate in all seasons, as if by magic. Debra Reid provides examples from a surprisingly international collection at The Henry Ford in Dearborn, Michigan, U.S.A. Jean Feyder in Luxemburg announces the relaunch of Draft Animal News online. The tour is wrapped up by a photo essay on the Ascension Day Oxdrivers’ Weekend at the Écomusée d’Alsace, France.
Cozette Griffin-Kremer, Associate Researcher, CRBC, Brest