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Elk. In the historical museum, you can see a carriage from the end of the 19th century, after the war it could be a hearse or a taxi

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The Historical Museum in Ełk (Warmian-Masurian Voivodeship) has made a unique exhibit available to visitors. It is a carriage from the end of the 19th century. According to museum experts, the vehicle is extremely valuable and unique in the country, mainly because it has survived practically unchanged. The carriage – as historians assume – was used even after World War II, probably as a taxi or a hearse.

– Vehicles of this type were produced and used in Cieszyn Silesia – says Dariusz Jurczak, educator from the Historical Museum in Ełk.

It is there that you can see a carriage from the end of the 19th century, which the facility acquired in 2019 from a private person from the vicinity of Grajewo. Now the vehicle is ready for comprehensive maintenance, co-financed by the Ministry of Culture and National Heritage.

Even the coachman’s apron is original

Vehicles of this type were produced and used in Cieszyn SilesiaMarta Murzyn / The Historical Museum in Ełk

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The works were carried out in such a way as to minimize any interference with the original substance of the monument. And this – as museum experts say – has survived practically unchanged. The carriage has the original: all structural parts of the chassis and body, interior and trestle upholstery, and a Stangreek apron.

– After maintenance, the upholstery looks like new, and this is a material that is over a hundred years old – emphasizes our interlocutor.

Used as a hearse or a taxi after the war?

Among other things, candy wrappers and a prayer book were found in the carriageMarta Murzyn / The Historical Museum in Ełk

Unfortunately, we do not know the history of this vehicle. – We can only guess that – perhaps as a taxi or a hearse – he traveled in Opole Silesia or Lower Silesia in the times after the Second World War. Inside were found, among others, cigarette boxes, candy wrappers and a prayer book – printed in the 1950s in Opole – says Dariusz Jurczak.

He adds that stripe-fastened windows are a curiosity. – Today, in some car models, we also have handles that allow you to open or close the window. In the carriages it looked like the belt was detached and the glass fell inside the door – explains the educator.

The vehicle windows were closed with strapsMarta Murzyn / The Historical Museum in Ełk

Educational classes are starting

The vehicle will be one of the exhibits that will be used as part of the free educational activities on the history of transport development, which will start at the end of November.

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In addition to the carriage, students will be able to see, for example, a steam locomotive from 1951, wagons from the beginning of the 20th century or a snow plow from 1908.

The exhibit will be used during educational activitiesMarta Murzyn / The Historical Museum in Ełk

The exhibit can be admired at the Historical Museum in Ełk

Main photo source: Marta Murzyn / The Historical Museum in Ełk



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