Wheat wagon ‘Daylight’ used in Coobang, New South Wales.

Made by Westcott, John in Parkes, New South Wales, c1914.

Large table-top wagons were first built in Australia in the 1890s in response to increased wool and wheat production, the increased size of individual flocks, and improvements in roads. They were larger than the flat-top wagons that they replaced, and their long platform tops were slightly concave to help keep wheat sacks or wool bales in place. Capable of carrying at least 20 tonnes, they were used to carry produce to the nearest railhead.

This wagon, made in Parkes, NSW, by the coachbuilding ...

Summary

B1572
Table top type wagon for hauling wheat with two hinged storage boxes at the front. Wooden block brakes to both sides of the rear wheels operated by a shaft run to the front of the wagon with the brakes at ground level on the left hand side. Above the rear wheels are metal protectors which are suspended at the rear of the wagon and underneath are a pair of leg chains hanging from curled hooks. The exterior surface is brightly coloured in light and dark blue, yellow, ochre, red and pink and handpainted with stylised motifs and patterns. Accompanying the text on either side is a rising sun with five pointed rays.

Dimensions

1720 mm

Production

This wheat wagon was produced by Westcott's, a coachbuilding company operated by John Westcott, who was employed as foreman bodymaker in the coachbuilding works of Mr W.Kirk at Kerang in Victoria before moving to Parkes in September, 1893.

John Westcott's horse-drawn vehicle works at Clarinda Street, Parkes, New South Wales, was established in 1893 by John Westcott after he acquired the blacksmith owned by C. Jarrett. Westcott began with a staff of two boys and it grew to 30 workers. His horse-drawn vehicles included wheat wagons, sulkies, tradesman’s vehicles as well as council graders and agricultural implements. Business mottos: "Never be left-behind - give the other fellow credit for all he does".

John Westcott was an important member of the local Parkes community being an alderman on the local council and secretary of the butter factory. When he began his factory there were no stipulated working hours and workers toiled from 6 am to up to 10 pm. He reduced these hours to 7 am to 5 pm.

By 1933 his firm had established a motor garage to cater for the increased number of automobiles in the town. He offered sales and service for Chrysler, Morris and Reo cars and trucks undertaking motor repair work including body and hood repairs. He also advertised that his works were specialists in heavy wheel and tyre repairs and rubber tyred sulkies.

Table top wheat wagons were often made of the Australian timbers, ironbark, spotted gum and tallow wood.
Kinscher, Harry
Westcott, John c1914

History

This wheat wagon, affectionately named 'Daylight', was originally built by Westcotts for Phyl Symonds of Coobang. When negotiating the construction of the wagon, Mr Symonds insisted on a number of modifications to the standard Westcott design, but John Westcott would not agree to alter his design for one wagon. Agreement was reached, however, when Mr Symonds mentioned that his two brothers were each prepared to place an order for a similar design. Therefore, three wagons were duly built and according to the custom at the time, were each given a name. Phyl Symonds' wagon was called 'Daylight' and the other two were 'Moonlight' and 'Starlight'. All subsequent Westcott wagons were built to the Symonds' design. The wagon painter at Westcotts was the late Harry Kinscher who was an outstanding tradesman in what was a specialist trade. The decorative motive on the wagon of the rising sun was copied from a can of varnish. The wagon was restored by the Museum.

The bag loading frame used to load wheat sacks onto the wagon is also in the Museum's collection (object No.85/948). The left hand shaft on the wagon was replaced on the farm after it was damaged when the wagon became bogged. The wagon was last used to carry a load of wheat to Parkes in 1939, it was restored by the Museum in the mid-1980s.
Symonds, Phyl 1914-1964

Source

Gift of John L Jeffries Britten, 1964
24 September, 1964

Cite this Object

Wheat wagon 'Daylight' used in Coobang, New South Wales. 2017, Museum of Applied Arts & Sciences, accessed 17 December 2017, <https://ma.as/208163>
{{cite web |url=https://ma.as/208163 |title=Wheat wagon 'Daylight' used in Coobang, New South Wales. |author=Museum of Applied Arts & Sciences |access-date=17 December 2017 |publisher=Museum of Applied Arts & Sciences, Australia}}
This object is currently on display in Store 3 at the Museums Discovery Centre.
Know more about this object?
TELL US
Have a question about this object?
ASK US