Pie wagon, ca. 1897

In 1885, Henry Copperthite established a wholesale pie baking company in the Georgetown section of Washington, D. C. By the turn of the century, his “Connecticut pies,” named for the state where he had learned his trade, were very popular throughout the nation’s capital. The Georgetown bakery produced more than 10,000 pies each day, and a fleet of horse-drawn wagons delivered them to grocery stores and restaurants. The child-size, pony-drawn wagon in the collection of the National Museum of American History was used in parades and other advertising activities according to Copperthite descendants.
Object Name
date made
ca 1897
overall: 59 in x 39 in x 52 in; 149.86 cm x 99.06 cm x 132.08 cm
place made
United States: District of Columbia, Washington
ID Number
catalog number
accession number
Road Transportation
See more items in
Work and Industry: Transportation, Road
Road Transportation
Road Transportation
Data Source
National Museum of American History, Kenneth E. Behring Center
Credit Line
Gift of Joseph F. Robinson
Additional Media

Visitor Comments

2/2/2016 4:33:03 PM
Ronald L. Stewart
This pie wagon was transferred (sold?) to the United States College of Veterinary Surgeons located at 222 C Street NW, Washington, DC and was used by the veterinary hospital as a horse drawn ambulance to transport small animals to and from the hospital. The United States College of Veterinary Surgeons was founded by Dr. Charles Barnwell Robinson in 1894 in Washington, DC and closed some time after his death in 1921. When the hospital disbanded much of the equipment was acquired by his son, Joseph F. Robinson, who donated this piece of equipment to the Smithsonian. At one time the name of the hospital was painted on the side of this ambulance and the hospital name may remain on the side not showing in this photograph. So, it is not only a pie wagon but also an animal ambulance.
2/13/2016 10:20:38 PM
Mike Copperthite
Mr. Stewart. So matter of fact with your revisionist history. Dr. Robonson and Henry Copperthite were friends, partners, and served on several boards and commissions. Both co-founded the Humaine Society. The wagon belongs to the pie company and was a gift by us to the Snithsonian. Before that it was used by Dr. Robinsons and Copperthite kids to go pick up hurt animals. And as a display vehicle in parades.
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