1911 Encyclopædia Britannica/Wagon
|←Wagner, Wilhelm Richard||1911 Encyclopædia Britannica, Volume 28
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WAGON, or Waggon, a large four-wheeled vehicle for the carriage of heavy loads, and drawn by two or more horses. This is the general English use of the term, where it is more particularly confined to the large vehicles employed in the carrying of agricultural produce. It is also used of the uncovered heavy rolling stock for goods on railways. In America the term is applied also to lighter vehicles, such as are used for express delivery, police work, &c., and to various forms of four-wheeled vehicles used for driving, to which the English term “cart” would be given. The word “wagon” appears to be a direct adaptation of Du. Wagen (cf. Ger. Wagen, Swed. Vagn, &c.). Skeat finds the earliest use of the word in Lord Berner's translation of Froissart (1523-1525), so that it is by no means an early word. The O.E. cognate word was wœgn, later wœn, by dropping of g (cf. regn, ren, rain), modern “wain.” The root of all these cognate words, meaning to carry, is seen in Lat. vehere. The term “wagon” or “waggon” is applied technically in bookbinding to a frame of cane used for trimming the edges of gold leaf. In architecture a “wagon-ceiling” is a boarded roof of the Tudor time, either of semicircular or polygonal section. It is boarded with thin panels of oak or other wood ornamented with mouldings and with loops at the intersections.