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Lincoln carriage heading from South Bend to Washington, DC

March 5, 2015

SOUTH BEND, Ind. (AP) — A South Bend museum is lending a carriage once belonging to President Abraham Lincoln to a museum in Washington, D.C.

The Lincoln carriage was set to be moved Thursday from the Studebaker National Museum to the National Museum of American History. The South Bend Tribune (http://bit.ly/1Gn7fJ2 ) reports it will be on display at the Smithsonian museum this spring in an exhibition commemorating the 150th anniversary of the president’s assassination.

The carriage carried Lincoln and his wife to Ford’s Theatre, where he was shot on April 14, 1865.

The plan to transport the fragile carriage called for isolating it in a crate with fitted foam pieces, with moving parts secured with straps. Without doing this, the carriage would move a lot during the trip, said Brian Howard, who worked to conserve the carriage.

“It suffered some damage previous times in transporting it,” Studebaker museum archivist Andy Beckman said. “It’s such a unique situation. You can put a car in any truck, but you can’t do the same thing for a horse-drawn vehicle like this.”

Clement Studebaker, a founder of the Studebaker company, bought the carriage in 1889 from a doctor who purchased it from Lincoln’s son, and added it to the company’s collection of historical vehicles. The carriage is now on permanent display in the Studebaker museum’s presidential carriage exhibit.

“The Smithsonian is one of the pre-eminent museums, and we’re delighted that the carriage can be shown down there,” Beckman said.


Information from: South Bend Tribune, http://www.southbendtribune.com

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