1813. Item #16938
Gibbons, Thomas [buyer of coaches], et al. Two Early 19th-Century Manuscript Orders for Carriages, Newark, NJ. (1) Letter of agreement between Miller and Crane [coachmakers] and T[homas] Gibbons, 1813. (2) Memorandum of agreement between Robert B. Campfield [coachmaker] and Thomas Gibbons, 1814, with detailed specifications for the carriage. Two sheets, one folded (creases split). Very good in readable ink hand. ** In the first agreement, Miller and Crane are to imitate a carriage owned by, or built by, one A. Anderson of New York. The second agreement outlines in 2 1/2 pages what Mr. Gibbons requires for his luxurious coach--details of size and weight, doors, body, interior, wheels, etc., all to be made of "the best materials." Robert B. Campfield (b. 1770) was an early and important Newark coachmaker, at a time when there were few American coachmakers, since the best vehicles were imported from Europe. (There were plenty of wagon makers.) Campfield pioneered in setting up a one-stop carriage-making shop--body, wheels, painting, trim, etc,, all carried out under one roof. Around 1860, when he was in his nineties and long retired, he was described as "the oldest practical coachmaker living."