Who is Boxcar Woody?
"This train is bound for Glory"
In the fall of 2014, our founders began to recognize a revolution within the interior and exterior design world. An industrial take on otherwise formal furniture seemed to be taking over the homes and businesses of the U.S. What was utterly serendipitous of this revolution was that they had been in the business of collecting and salvaging boxcar materials for over 3 years prior to this new phenomenon. Using our materials, a new business model began to take shape that would combine American history with that of exquisite craftmanship and design. This business model is what sparked the foundation of Boxcar Woody. But before you get to know us, we need to introduce you to the history of our materials and why they alone coincide with this nation’s progress.
The American Railroad has reached every corner of our great land. It has transported just about every product imaginable and was directly responsible for the creation and development of most of our major cities, as well as smaller ones in between. Don't believe it? Google the history of your hometown name along with the phrase "railroad history". You'll be surprised what you might discover. During those pioneering years, one car stood out among the rest, almost as important as the locomotive engine itself: the boxcar. Not just because of the versatility for the freight it could carry, but because of the connection with humanity it offered. The typical boxcar doubled as a passenger car for the ticketless. It was even sometimes left behind in those newly founded towns as a shelter or, for others, a home. It provided an escape for those wanting to run from his or her current predicament or a ride to a better life. Often, the boxcar’s walls were a sounding board for a newly penned song or where a life drew its very first and, sometimes, sadly, last breath. The American Boxcar was all of this and more to both early Americans and Immigrants alike.
Our vision at Boxcar Woody is to not allow these boxcar’s stories to be the last of the materials, nor to allow their importance to disappear. We see these unique pieces as history. History that can have a piece in every American’s daily life and routine if they choose. How do we make that happen? We have mastered the art of boxcar selection and retrieval through years of experience. We seek out these 80,000 plus pound boxes that are scattered across the United States. While we try to retrieve ever boxcar that has been deactivated, we are sadly unable to get to them all in time. Each American boxcar has a maximum life of 50 years. After this, they are typically destroyed. Through our experience, we can estimate that American railroads stopped using wooded boxcar floors around 1981. They then switched to steel materials. With this revelation, we know that these materials are rare and timely commodities and hope to discover all that are remaining.
Our name was borrowed from fellow Okie, Woody Guthrie. The things we found in common were around his artistry, love for this great land and being a champion of the working man. We were a little too late to experience a ride to California on a Boxcar but we believe the opportunity to salvage what we can from these old cars keeps that spirit and love for the rails alive!
Still not sure what to make of Boxcar Woody? Our materials have been used to create furniture such as tabletops, bars, stools, chairs, beds, and many other uniquities. Check out some of the products that our clients Urban Farmhouse, BoxCar Revival, and dozens of other artisans have created with the BoxCar plank.