The repair of wagons was critical to the success of Bent's Fort. During some periods of the fort's history, it resembled a wrecking yard, with broken axles, fractured hubs, splintered side boards, mounds of white canvas and piles of abandoned tongues and spreaders. The fort's craftsmen were especially anxious to salvage the iron parts, which could be reworked into other useful pieces. One might find hooves to make glue, and rawhide- the duct tape of the 1840s. Hardwoods from Missouri were cut and shaved into wagon parts. Making do with what they had, they kept the wagons rollling.
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