Wednesday, July 2, 2014

The Carriage Museum - 6/30/14

The Carriage Museum houses the Spencer and Julie Penrose collection of unique carriages, race cars, automobiles, and other historically significant items. Their lifetime collection includes 31 horse-drawn carriages five motorized carriers (including three Pikes Peak Auto Hill Climb race cars), and Mrs. Penrose's 1928 Cadillac limousine. Also on exhibit are saddles, muskets and rifles dating from the Civil War and before, and several rare Native American ceremonial garments.

This 1841 Brougham was used in the inauguration of William H. Harrison, ninth president of the U.S,, on March 4, 1841. It was valued at $500 st the time. The same day Harrison rode his horse down Pennsylvania Avenue, subsequently caught pneumonia, and died a month later. It had tufted wine-silk ceiling and black leather upholstery.

Known as a shooting trap, this carriage was used for hunting and accommodated hunting dogs under the seats (the louvered wood is to provide ventilation for the dogs). It was owned by Horace K. Devereaux (a football star of Princeton, class of 1880) who remained a lifelong friend to Penrose. He is buried at the Will Rogers Shrine of the Sun.

Stage coach, 1866. Passengers did not expect a comfortable journey!

Gentleman's Phaeton, 1896, very popular with wealthy American men.

Ladies Phaeton, 1893, also popular with wealthy American women. A rumble seat was in the rear to provide a seat for a groom.

Gentleman's Drag, 1890. This carriage was designed to carry 18 passengers!

Rare Carromata, 1935, usually drawn by one pony. This one was used to transport guests from the Penrose home to the beach on their property in Hawaii.

Saddle collection.

This 1928 V-8 Cadillac was an anniversary present to Julie from her husband.

Native American garments. Dress with beadwork and bells (Cheyenne). Boy's fringed and beaded shirt (Ute).

Penrose was initiated into the Sioux tribe in 1921 and given the name of White Eagle by Chief Iron Bull of the Ogala Sioux. Below is a photo of chieftain garment and headdress presented to him.

Iron Bull's, feather headdress made of young golden eagle feathers and rabbit fur ear drops. 

Penrose's Colt handgun collection.

Just this month the Race to the Clouds wing of the Carriage Museum was opened that features the history of the famous annual Pikes Peak race to the summit. Penrose funded the development of the Pikes Peak Highway and the race began in 1916. It has been held annually except during the years of WW I, the first year of the Great Depression, and WW II since.

First motor vehicle to reach the top of Pikes Peak (in 1906) was this R-S Motor Bicycle.

Lexington Minute Man Special - won in 1920 and 1924.

This modified1917 Ford Model T pickup raced to victory in 1922 driven by Noel Bollock.

This vehicle, "Yellow Devil," was modified from a 1918 Pierce Arrow seven-passenger touring car. It raced between 1922 to 1932 with a best finish of 4th.

Raced by Al Rogers 15 times with 4 wins, his car was designed and built by Colorado Spring resident, Joe Coniff.

This Ducati is the first motorcycle to reach the summit in under 10 minutes, ridden by Carlin Dunne.

Compact Power ER2 electric car designed and driven by Tim Eckert won in 2002 for his class posting the fastest time ever for an alternative fuel vehicle.

2012 crash by Jeremy Foley in Mitsubishi EVO 8.  He and his partner survived due to the safety features of the vehicle.

Exhibit of winners and their times since 1916. Initially times were approximately 20 minutes; today they are below 9 minutes.  Engineering, tire technology, and the paving of the highway have factored into the improved times.

The trophy made by Bailey, Banks, and Biddle for Penrose.

The winningest family of the race - the Unsers; Louis, Al, and Bobby.

This Carriage Museum is funded and managed by the Penrose El Pomar Foundation. Admission is free and it is located at the Broadmoor Hotel complex. We were very pleasantly surprised by the extent of the collection on display. After our visit, we walked to one of the many Broadmoor bar/restaurants for a snack and cocktails.


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