The horsikin, or horse mannequin, was used in the making and fitting of harnesses.

It was much easier to use a non-moving horsikin than to take a live horse into the shop. Horsikins were also used in carriage sales displays. The Museum’s horsikins were used at Cole-Haan Harness Makers in Portland, Maine.

One of the quirkier uses for these horse mannequins was developed by Moxie, the iconic New England soft drink company. Beginning in 1916 and lasting into the 1950s, the firm promoted its products with the Moxie Horsemobile. These attention-grabbing “Moxie Mobiles” shared the novelty of being driven from the saddle of a horsikin mounted onto the chassis. They were adapted from cars of various marques, primarily higher-end ones like Buick, LaSalle, and Rolls-Royce.

Accession no. 1996G03

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