Friday, February 20, 2009

Station Wagon, origin of the phrase

I was thinking about Station Wagons after posting about the Desoto and the Dodge a post or so down the page... and I realized that the phrase must orignate from the horse drawn wagons that went from station to station... or stages, hence Stage Coach... ergo station wagon.
Well, it made sense to me until I looked on the web for confirmation.
I was wrong.
The very first station wagons were called 'depot hacks' - they worked primarily around train depots as hacks (taxicabs). The modified back ends that made them depot hacks were necessary to carry large amounts of luggage - everyone traveled by train then, remember, and you needed a car that could comfortably carry people and large amounts of luggage from the train station to home. They were also called 'carryall's' and 'suburbans' (a name Plymouth used on their wagons until the late 1970's). 'Station wagon' was just another derivative of 'depot hack'; they were vehicles that were used as wagons (to carry passengers and cargo) from (railroad) stations.

1 comment:

  1. Maybe the word is linked to the Australian word for a farm -a STATION. E.g. a sheep station.
    I heard Rolls Royces were popular as station wagons, the driver being protected by the divider wall (between front and rear seats) from his sheep in the rear (trying to lick his neck).