Animal-drawn "squeaky cars" were used in our archipelago for cargo transport. They were thus designated by the squeak they made when they circulated. Its wheels were made of a single block of wood, which is why they were called cheias (full).

A sheet metal surrounded the wheel around the perimeter, joining the wooden parts. To prevent the wheel from moving out of its position, it was studded with huge nails, the heads of which were purposefully turned outward.

The bow prevented the wear of the wheel and huge nails held the car in its march on the dirt ground, often damp and slippery, preventing the worst for the ox-drivers and the animals: the constant sliding of the vehicle out of the way.


BRANCO, Jorge Freitas; Camponeses da Madeira, As Bases Materiais do Quotidiano no Arquipélago (“Madeira Peasants, The Material Bases of Everyday Life in the Archipelago”, 1750/1900), Publications Dom Quixote, Col. Portugal de Perto, Lisbon, 1987.

The Collections of the Madeira Ethnographic Museum


Credits: Madeira Ethnographic Museum