Winston-Salem’s profitable pairing: tobacco and wagons


In a state with notoriously rough roads, the Nissen wagon — a lighter-duty counterpart of the Conestoga — played a crucial part in early production and distribution of tobacco.

Founded in 1834, the Nissen Wagon Works grew to cover more than 600 acres in Winston-Salem’s Waughtown community. By 1919 it was turning out 50 wagons a day. I was surprised to learn that production continued into the 1940s — who was still buying wagons that far into the automobile age?

Pictured: a celluloid pocket mirror from the collection.