8 Things You Didn't Know About Real-Life Covered Wagons

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Conestoga Wagon. Source: (Photo by Wolfgang Kaehler/LightRocket via Getty Images)

Every movie and television show about the old west and the pioneer days includes covered wagons. You know covered wagons, you were probably forced to make them in elementary school, or, even worse, to play "Oregon Trail" at some point, of which you remember very little other than inadvertently learning what dysentery was. These canvas-topped, horse-drawn wagons have become a symbol of the pioneering spirit of Americans during the westward expansion of the 1800s. From the Louisiana Purchase to the California gold rush to the Homestead Act, the 19th century was a vast migration of people from the crowded East Coast cities to the untamed wilderness of the Great Plains and the western states. Before the introduction of the railroad, the covered wagon was the favorite mode of transportation for the pioneers. But covered wagons weren’t all they were cracked up to be. Let’s look at what you didn’t know about covered wagons.