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Gentle giants
The book of draft horses : gentle giants that built the world
Donna Campbell Smith.
New York : Lyons ; Northam : Roundhouse [distributor], 2007.
The multi-horse hitch pulling big wagons loaded with supplies was a common scene in American history in the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. Cities bustled with horse-drawn wagons loaded with good, moving them from ships and railways to warehouses and businesses or carrying loads overland from city to city. Some of the wagons were works of art as companies had them painted to promote their businesses. As the horses moved goods from one location to another they also carried moving advertisements for attracting customers along their routes.
     
Horses and horse-drawn vehicles : a pictorial archive
selected and arranged by Carol Belanger Grafton.
New York : Dover Publications, 1994.
Over 800 royalty-free illustrations selected from more than 25 vintage and contemporary publications: horses, riding, hunting, equestrian events, racing, polo, military, Western, stables and blacksmiths, equipment and accessories, carriages, mythical subjects, and hobbyhorses.
     
Basic guide to the Dalmatian
[Michael R. Zervas, managing editor ; Stephen W. Jones, project editor.]
Ruckerville, VA : Dace Pub., c1997.
"Written by breeders who know the breed-- for those who are interested in learning more about the Dalmatian."
     

Draft horses are powerful horses used to plow fields and pull heavy loads. The Clydesdale is a breed of draft horse, named after the region they originated from Clydesdale, Scotland.

These gentle giants are noted for grace and versatility with that elevated leg action as they march. They can stand as tall as 20 hands in height and can weigh 2,000+ pounds. The most recognized feature of the Clydesdale are their feathers, the long hairs from just below the knees to their hooves.

At the end of prohibition, August A. Busch, Jr. (Gussie) ran to his father's office to tell him to come see the new car he had purchased. Father followed son out to see the new vehicle and there was a red beer wagon being pulled by a six-horse hitch team of Clydesdales.

Dalmatian dogs travel with each hitch and sit next to the driver. The dogs use to guard the wagon and protect the team while the driver went inside buildings to make deliveries.

Gussie saw this as an advertising opportunity and had the team pick up two cases of beer at Newark, NJ airport and ride through the Holland Tunnel to make a delivery to former NY governor, Al Smith, in front of the Empire State Building. The tour continued making stops in Rhode Island, Baltimore and trotted down Pennsylvania Avenue to the Whitehouse and delivered a case of beer to President Franklin Roosevelt. The Clydesdale became a symbol of the Anheuser-Busch beer ever since.

St. Louis Cardinal baseball fans can remember when Gussie would parade around the stadium in a replica of that 1932 red wagon being pull by a team of Clydesdales waving his red cowboy hat.

Today, you can see the Clydesdales in exhibition and parades, as the traveling hitches are on the road at least 10 months every year.

Article by: St. Louis Public Library staff