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Coppes our history

Runners for a One Horse Open Sleigh?

Bill Warner
December 26, 2019
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Wright invoice

Today we are looking at a receipt from Feb. 1st, 1912. The Coppes, Zook & Mutschler Co. purchased one set (2) sled runners from the concern of JOHN J. WRIGHT, BREMEN, IND, MASHALL COUNTY.

"2 PCS. SLED RUNNERS, 4x4 x 5-10 AT $1.80" was how the invoice read.

To better understand what this actually was we need to know that the C, Z & M Co. was using large horse-drawn sleds in the winter when the ground was frozen to bring logs to their sawmills. These “runners” were 4 inches square by 5 feet 10 inches long. Most certainly these “runners” were steam curved in front and would be fixed with a steel wear plate to make them last longer. Notice that this invoice was signed “O. K.” by JDC (John D. Coppes)

Update 1/2/20

Since publishing this post, we shared it with our friends "down the road" at Historic Bremen, and they shared a little more information about John J. Wright. Take a look at these great photos and captions they provided!

Wright building
“Wright’s Bent-wood Factory” (pictured here in 1888) was built by John Wright on the corner of W Plymouth and S Whitlock Streets in 1869. Products include bent-wood material for building carriages, houses, fencing, etc. The Wright’s Bent-wood factory was Bremen’s largest employer in 1890.
John J. Wright
John J Wright was one of the foremost businessmen of Bremen in its early days, coming to town in 1868 and starting a box factory and wood bending works (bentwood was used in the manufacture of carriages and furniture) and a dry goods store with an opera house above.
Note: the same photo was used in his 1911 obituary and noted as having been taken for his 50th anniversary in 1904.