Horse-drawn vehicles number 2,745, or all vehicles counted in Seattle on January 7, 1904.

  • By Greg Lange
  • Posted 8/21/1999
  • Essay 1636

On January 7, 1904 a traffic count is taken at 1st Avenue and Cherry Street in Seattle. Despite the fact that the first automobile to be seen in the city arrived in 1900, horses pull all 2,745 vehicles that pass through the intersection during the day. This will change by the end of the year.

During the day several types of horse-drawn vehicles passed by. Express wagons hauled commodities such as furniture and meats. They had springs to make the ride easier and to reduce the chance of upsetting. Lumber wagons had no springs. They hauled brick, gravel, sand, coal, and garbage. Horse trucks were probably enclosed delivery vehicles that carried goods like groceries, milk, and laundry. Buggies carried passengers and were driven for pleasure.

Following is the summary of the vehicles that passed through the intersection at 1st Avenue and Cherry Street on January 7, 1904.

  • Express Wagons (1 horse) ------- 967
  • Express Wagons (2 horses) --- 1,108
  • Lumber Wagons (2 horses) ------ 414
  • Lumber Wagons (3 horses) ------- 2
  • Lumber Wagons (4 horses) ------- 37
  • Horse Trucks (2 horses) ---------49
  • Horse Trucks (4 horses) --------- 3
  • Buggies ------------------------165

Total ----------------------- 2,745 vehicles


Myra L. Phelps, Public Works in Seattle: A Narrative History, The Engineering Department, 1875-1975 (Seattle: Seattle Engineering Department, 1978), 101.

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