At the time of the Civil War, a ride in a carriage was a jarring experience, to say the least.
The roads were rough and passengers felt every bump. In 1864, two journeymen carriage makers from Glens Falls, Edward Joubert and James Huyler White, borrowed $50 to form a business partnership to build carriages.
Joubert was born in Canada at around 1825 and was married to a sister of his partner. They had five children and lived on Warren Street in Glens Falls. Joubert handled the manufacturing details for the firm before he died in 1890.
White was born in 1836. He was a married father of three children and also lived on Warren Street. White handled the sales part of the business, for which he did extensive travel before his death in 1916.
Their carriages were different from others available, as they came up with the idea of providing room under the seat in order to add a pair of springs to allow for a smoother ride. They patented their idea, but apparently did not protect the patent, as other carriage makers soon began using the same concept.
The Joubert and White buckboard carriage was
generally finished in a natural wood, such as maple or birch, which was then
covered with many coats
of varnish. The seats were upholstered in leather and the carriage usually had a canopy top with a side curtain that could be rolled down in inclement weather.
The Glens Falls buckboard became famous, not only in the United States, but in
Europe as well. The company published catalogs listing the many models they could produce. Famous families with names like Morgan,
Tiffany, Trask, Carnegie, Rockefeller and Astor owned one or more of these carriages. In England, the
Prince of Wales, later to be King Edward VII, rode in one.
At its peak, around 1867, the business, located at the corner of Warren and Jay streets, consisted of a large building for manufacturing that is still standing, a second building on Jay Street was used for storage of completed vehicles and a lumberyard where their lumber was seasoned until ready to use.
The business employed about 35 mechanics and produced no more than 100 vehicles per year. The business continued until 1916.
Article prepared by Bob Bayle for the Warren County Historical Society.