Thursday, October 6, 2016

Goat-Powered Commerce

One day long ago, a peddler who carried his wares in goat-drawn wagons stopped along the old Lincoln Highway to trade, and perhaps to rest — and to be photographed — at the Tonagels' store in Ainsworth.

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(Click on images to enlarge)
Images courtesy of the Hobart Historical Society.

This man, and others like him, traveled around the area selling whatever they could carry in their wagons. The most visible wares in this picture are those contraptions with sails and tails — weathervanes, I suppose. But the wagons look well stuffed with other goods.

The adults who bought from them may have known the peddlers' names, but the photos come to us from one who was a child at the time and knew them only as "gypsies."

In another photo, this peddler is joined by some people we know:

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The tall, dark-haired man in overalls is Cecil Tonagel. Next to him is his father-in-law, Charles Rosenquist. Of the five children crouched beside them, we know only the middle one — Donald Tonagel.

The photo is undated, and we don't see any cars that would help us fix a date. The photo must have been taken after the Tonagels started operating The Pantry in 1935 but before Charles Rosenquist's death in 1953. Donald Tonagel, born about 1929, looks perhaps twelve years old here; assuming he's been identified correctly, we can date the photo roughly to the early 1940s.

The photographer stood out front of The Pantry, pointing the camera southwest toward the intersection of 73rd and S.R. 51.

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