When Was the “Station Wagon” Invented, How Did It Get Its Name, and What Did It Mean Originally?

A station wagon was originally a horse-drawn carriage.

The name transferred to cars in 1904, and in 1929 the first modem station wagon was manufactured.

It referred to a car big enough to haul people and luggage to and from railway stations.

Prior to the 1930s, most automobile makers used hardwoods to frame the passenger compartments of their vehicles, but when steel took over, designers extended a wood-panel finish to the exterior of multipurpose passenger-and-cargo cars.

These became the classic station wagons that grew in popularity with suburban families after World War II.

Station wagons were largely replaced by minivans or sport-utility vehicles (SUVs) during the 1980s and 1990s and have all but disappeared from the world’s roads.

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