The F. Ronstadt Company Wagon Catalogue
During the golden age of horse-drawn transportation, the F. Ronstadt Company was universally regarded as the finest wagon manufacturer in Arizona. The Ronstadt craftsmen created utilitarian vehicles of exquisite beauty, known for sturdy construction, attention to detail, and furniture quality finish work. The story of wagon manufacture in territorial Arizona and detailed descriptions of Fred Ronstadt's wagon construction techniques are recounted in Wagon Making in Southern Arizona written by James E. Sherman and Edward R. Ronstadt.
Customers could choose from wagon models on display in the Ronstadt showroom, or browse through the Ronstadt wagon catalogue, which illustrated styles and specifications for wagons and carriages of all varieties and uses.
The F. Ronstadt Company Wagon Catalogue (produced in an edition of only two copies) consisted of small (5.25" x 7.5") leather covered photograph albums, filled with 3.75" x 5" photographs. As wagon models were discontinued, or new styles introduced, photographs were removed or added to the album.
When the wagon making trade ceased to be commercially viable, Fred Ronstadt gave the catalogues to his sons Gilbert and Edward as mementos. Edward Ronstadt donated his copy of the original catalogue, lacking some images which were used for publicity purposes and have been lost, to The University of Arizona Library's Special Collections department, as part of the Ronstadt Family Archive.
This unique documentary record of early Arizona transportation history is now available in electronic format:
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Last updated 5 January 1999