Object Record

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Catalog Number 210
Collection Carriage Collection Vehicles
Object Name Trap
Place of Origin United States/New York/Troy
Maker Troy Carriage Works
Date 1890-1900
Dimensions H-61 W-65 L-112 inches
Notes The term trap was applied originally to all forms of light pleasure vehicles. In the late nineteenth century in America, the term came to be used to describe vehicles with shifting, sliding or collapsible seats to accommodate more passengers without increasing the length of the vehicle or altering the arrangement of the seats. Hundreds of patents were issued for the mechanisms for such seats, and the vehicle was extremely popular by the last decades of the Carriage Era. A government survey in 1899 shows that only 15 fewer traps were made than the combined number of victorias, cabriolets, vis-a-vis, broughams, clarences and landaus produced that year. The Troy carriage Works patented this vehicle type in 1891.

This example, which was also called a "jump-seat buckboard," has paneled sides finished in varnished natural wood. Its two-seat arrangement could be converted to a single seat, leaving a shallow open storage area surrounded by a turned spindle side rail, by collapsing the rear hinged lazy back and brass arm rails, tilting the front seat forward and folding the entire rear seat under the front seat. The leather seat cushions are painted a light brown.

The body is set on side springs on the front bolster and the rear dropped axle. This crank-shaped axle permitted the body to be hung lower to the ground for easy access. A wooden reach connects the axles. It has simple step irons on each side and the entire undercarriage is accented with red striping.
Credit line Gift of Miss Katherine Thayer Hobson, 1953.