American Ingenuity

| April 2005

'Build a better mousetrap and the world will beat a path to your door,' or so the saying goes. In the early 1900s, the American Wagon Co. was one of several firms testing that philosophy by offering a new twist on an old design. Wagon boxes, the cargo-hauling portion of a horse-drawn wagon, were the company's specialty. Believing invention, American was perfecting some of the most visibly significant changes to farm wagons in close to a half-century. Between 1905 and 1909, the company secured at least two patents on their creations. Internal enthusiasm and faith in the product's success was high. But, in just over a decade, the wheels of progress would take a hard turn.