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We own a fence company in Southeast Louisiana and do a lot of property clearing.  This was given to us by an 81 year old customer whose husband collected antiques.

She said he obviously thought it of value because he built an 8x10 shingle roofed shed with a limestone pad specifically for it.  

It weighs well over 400 pounds (we took it out with a forklift) The removable top is oak with a hole in the center and metal strapping (top alone about 100lbs).  There are pulley wheels on the sides as though to slide something across them..  No marking or branding that we could see.

I've done some looking and found very few of the 3 wheel carts online.  Both my husband and I are just terribly curious to know it's origin and use, were there any factories down here, was it manufactured in Louisiana?  Any info or ideas of places to look would be much appreciated. More pics attached. Thanks!!

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There are a few things that really stand out to me after looking at hundreds of these carts...already...

1. I cannot find ANY with the handle attached to the front wheel that has some sort of brake or "kickstand(?)" attached to it.

2. Like you said, rarely do they not have a fourth stabilizing wheel in the back.

3. The amount of steel used to reinforce this thing is unlike any I have come across, especially along the sides, supporting the front wheel, down the middle, AND a whole layer of steel under the platform itself?

Something about it says railroad to me, but having a center wheel does not really make sense for that...super interesting!

The reason for the one wheel is for maneuverability.

Thanks for your input Molly! Yes, you’re right it’s a handbrake on the front and it still works, all the wheels and pulleys turn well. And wow is that steel heavy, the oak top alone is at least 100 pounds.

It’s awesome if it’s just a really great old factory cart, but.. the man built it a storage shed so I have to dig into it. Do you know of any cart makers in louisiana? Anything on it indicative of a certain decade? Thanks again!

I certainly have not forgotten about this item.  My browser is just stuck on showing me the same things over and over because I have tried SO many times to narrow the search without much success...thus far. :)

I researched this too and found similar, without handles, used to hold luggage, baggage, lumber, steel, raw metal ingots, and made (re-invented) into coffee tables.  As bulky as it is I'd guess it was used in Industry to haul raw materials or finished goods.

I didn't see any pulleys in your pictures. Are you referring to the 2 steel wheels? If so, how would one fasten a drive belt around them?

I thought she was referring to the 3 round wheels within the side edge of the platform.

An acquaintance that’s starting a little train and milwork museum down here had a look. He was stumped.. all he could say was, Ms.Dunn you have a really fine piece! It’s a really really fine peace!! Haha!

He was really eager to find out more about it and excited too but couldn’t give me much more info except that the top might not be original.

Strange...second look I see  the 3 small wheels that Molly mentioned. To me they look like rollers inserted to make the edge stronger. Can't tell if they roll or are rigid.

The handle is strange too. If one pulled the wagon it would set the brake, therefore I believe the handle is for pushing which releases the brake.

Ms. Dunn, my mother's maiden name was Dunn, from Denver, Colo.

But, isn't it odd?  Why would you have just a small steel bar handle to PUSH?  There is something quite unique about this one, but I sure have not figured it out yet!

Well how ‘bout that, my great grandpa Dunn was straight off the boat from Ireland to settle in New Orleans.

The rollers DO roll and the brake doesn’t engage unless all the way down or clicked into the complete upright position. So you can push or pull it, it’s surprisingly easy to navigate bring it’s so heavy you would think otherwise.

I’m following a few leads and will hopefully have more info on it shortly. I’ll update soon :) thanks guys

Ms. Dunn, my Dunn ancestors came to the US in the 1700s; they too were Irish and Scottish and Scandinavian.


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