Similar light driving phaetons of this type were made by many American carriage builders in the closing years of the 1800s and early 1900s. They were given a variety of names, of which perhaps the most widely known today is the Bronson wagon, a slightly larger style made by Brewster & Co.
The Kimball outing wagon has a three-spring carriage part and a reach. It may be driven with a single or a pair, and the pole, when used, can be prevented from dropping by a spiral spring attachment, which makes it unnecessary to use a neck-yoke. The sides are made of quarter-cut oak, with panels and moldings cut out of the solid wood. The cushions are of imitation leather stuffed with curled horse hair.
This is one of the first carriages Mr. Seabrook acquired. It was bought from a livery stable at Central Park West in New York City in the early 1940s. It was in shabby condition at the time, having been poorly painted with red house paint. Mr. Seabrook asked one of the painters at Seabrook Farms to strip off the old paint and repaint it in some more appropriate color. When the old paint was removed, the handsome graining of the oak side panels was revealed, and so the proper varnished finish was restoreda in place of paint. This wagon has been used a great deal over the years but, despite this, it remains a handsome example of American craftsmanship.
The Kimball Brothers of Boston were two of a family of six sons of Peter Kimball, a wheelwright and sleigh maker in Maine. All six became carriage builders, the most notable being Charles P. Kimball, who established a large and successful business in Chicago.