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Ox Wagon--one wagon

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W. Britain

Item Number: 20075

Ox Wagon

Drawn by teams of oxen harnessed in pairs, ox-wagons are broad, wide, and meant for heavy loads.  The wagon itself is made of various kinds of wood, with the rims of the wheels being iron.  The back wheels are usually substantially larger than the front ones and were rigidly connected to the tray of the vehicle.  The steering axle could not turn far under the tray which gave the wagons a very wide turning circle, allowing for a much more robust connection between the hauling traces of the oxen and the rear axle of the wagon, necessary for heavy haulage.  Because of their stout construction, the wagons were sometimes employed as mobile fortifications (called a laager), as exemplified at the Battle of Blood River and the Defence of Rorke’s Drift.