History Nebraska Blog

Nebraska Ship Sails on a Sea of Grass

This illustration appeared in Frank Leslie's Illustrated Newspaper with the following article: 

"The Wind Ship of the Prairies: Fort Kearney, May 27, 1860. The prairie ship, which passed here last Saturday, is a very light built wagon, the body rounded in front, something in shape like a boat, to overcome the resistance of the air. The wheels are remarkably light, large and slender, and the whole vehicle strongly built. Two masts somewhat raked carry large square sails, rigged like a ship's. . . . In front is a large coach lamp, to travel by night when the wind is favorable. . . .The ship hove in sight about eight o'clock in the morning, with a fresh breeze from N.E. by E.; it was running down in a westerly direction for the fort, under full sail across the green prairie. The guard, astonished at such a novel sight, reported the matter to the officer on duty, and we all turned out to view the phenomenon."

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