Pioneering Wood Panels
The early days of automotive construction used wood for its framing materials. Carriage makers and other wood manufacturers supplied these materials to automakers who in some cases bought them out as Chrysler did the U.S., Hame Co. (later the U.S. Body and Forging Co.). While wood auto frames became a thing of the past, wood appeared as a stylistic addition for auto exteriors. Cars like the 1941 Chrysler Town and Country and the 1939 Plymouth "Woody" Station Wagon were signature examples of this trend. A hame is one of the two curved wooden or metal pieces of a harness that fits around the neck of a horse or other draft animal to which the traces of the reins are attached. U.S. Hame and its antecedents manufactured hundreds of thousands of them in the late 19th and early 20th centuries.