The Lincolns did not ride to Ford’s Theatre in the often-pictured black carriage. Their carriage was a stunning dark green with maroon, white and gold detailing and a small but elaborately drawn cursive monogram on each door.
It featured silver candle lamps, silver door handles and a set of stairs that sprang forward automatically when the coachman pulled the door handle.
Robert Todd Lincoln inherited the carriage after his father’s death, but he didn’t keep it for long. He sold it to Dr. F. B. Brewer of New York. When Dr. Brewer was ready to sell in 1889, carriage maker Clement Studebaker snatched it up for the collection at H&C Studebaker Co., a precursor of the Studebaker Motor Company.
The carriage was often on display, but, by the time conservators at the Studebaker National Museum began working on it in the early 2000s, it was so deteriorated that even they thought it was black.
They gradually uncovered the colorful carriage now on display at the Studebaker National Museum in South Bend, IN.
Sources: Interviews, USA TODAY, Studebaker National Museum website.