Doctors Buggy

Description

Our doctor’s buggy was a specially designed “buggy” or single person horse-drawn vehicle intended for physicians to take themselves and their equipment to their patients homes.  In this period, the doctor made “housecalls” and only rarely did the patient go to the “doctor’s office”, often only a room in his residence set aside for seeing patients who did arrive on his doorstep.  It is lightweight with narrow wheels to keep it from getting stuck in the mud.

Buggies like this were made through the 19th and early 20th centuries. Ours was made in Lawrenceburg, Indiana by James and Mayer, carriage-makers.  It’s likely this dates from 1893 that's when James and Mayer were operating their factory.  Their version of the vehicle was called the “Red Cross Buggy”.

Dr. Joseph Knighton after whom the health system was named wrote of those early days what in was likely the draft of a speech.  The document remains in our archives and refers to “horse and buggy days” of medicine while practicing as a young doctor in rural Claiborne Parish.

Story Associated with Item

The buggy can’t be traced to a single doctor.  It was purchased by the donor, Marsha Gill while at an auction in Northern Caddo Parish..  The buggy had been repainted red and black.  Most Red Cross Buggies were were painted a utilitarian black with a brighter color on the wheels often red, blue or gold.  It was restored by Roger Yeilding, a WK worker who took on the restoration as a labor of love.

Location in Museum

The buggy is located in the front of the museum as you walk through the doors.

Age

Ca. 1893
  • Doctors Buggy
  • Doctors Buggy
  • Doctors Bag in Buggy
  • Buggy
  • Buggy before restoration front medium shot
  • Buggy before restoration long shot two
  • Buggy before restoration rear medium
  • Buggy before restoration long shot
  • Buggy before restoration roof top
  • Buggy before restoration side view
  • Buggy before restoration roof
  • Buggy before restoration Roberts
  • Buggy before restoration  suspension
  • Buggy before restoration  wide shot
  • Buggy before restoration closeup rear