Horse-Drawn Carriages

Kite Carriages or Charvolants

George Pocock was an English schoolteacher who became interested in kites and began experimenting with them. His interest gradually progressed to him using kites to lift small items and then light loads. By the 1820s, Pocock was experimenting with kites that could lift people. This resulted in Pocock rigging a chair in 1824 that lifted…

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Carriage Accidents and Remedies

During the time of carriages, there were numerous reasons as to why accidents happened. The primary causes for accidents usually involved something related to drivers, roads, horses, harnesses, carriages, or riders and occurred for a variety of reasons that ranged from intoxicated drivers to wheels falling off to shying or bolting horses. The following posts…

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Coachbuilding or Coach Making in the Late 1700 and Early 1800s

Coachbuilders or coach makers created “those numerous and elegant vehicles which modern refinement … invented as speedy and luxurious modes of traveling.” In building a vehicle, a coachbuilder usually relied on artisans, “wheel-wrights, smiths, painters, carvers, joiners … [and] harness-makers,” and assembled together the parts the artisans created by making a body and a carriage.…

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Mail Coach Robberies

Mail coach robberies occurred regularly because mail coaches carried passengers, as well as mail. It did not matter that by the early 1800s “the coachmen and guards [wore] the king’s livery, scarlet, faced with blue and gold lace; and [were] an intrepid and fearless class.” It also did not matter that at the rear of…

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Mail Coaches

Postal delivery service began in England in 1635 and it existed in the same form for 150 years. Mounted carriers rode between “posts” taking letters handed to them by local postmasters until they eventually reached the proper local postmasters who in turn delivered them to the intended recipient in their area. This system was highly…

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The Gig or Chaise

In the second half of the eighteenth century, as roads improved, so did the vehicles that traveled them. Among the vehicles on the road was the gig, also called a chaise or a chair. It was a lightweight, two-wheeled cart with road springs pulled by one or sometimes two horses. Passengers rode facing forward and…

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Hackney Coaches

Hackney coaches, which were the idea of a man named Captain Bailey, were originally one-horse chaises. The term was once believed to have been derived from the French word “haquenée” but is now thought to have originated from the London village of “Hackney.” Eventually, nobility began to rent out their outdated and unneeded coaches, often…

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Brougham Carriages

Brougham carriages were originally designed as a light, four-wheeled, enclosed, one-horse vehicle. They also had two centers doors, and a low coupe body that enclosed a forward facing seat for two occupants. Sometimes they came equipped with two extra fold away seats, which could be used for children. Outside, at the front for the coachman,…

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Phaetons

Phaetons were stylish, four-wheeled carriages, with or without tops that usually had no side pieces in front by the seats. The name phaeton comes from Phaëton who was the mythical son of Helios (the personification of the Sun in Greek mythology).  Phaëton was said to have driven the Sun Chariot so dangerously he almost caught…

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