Vehicle Titles, Origins, and Descriptions of the 1700 and 1800s, A-C

During the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, nearly everyone owned some sort of vehicle. There were also a huge variety of them and because there were so many, it sometimes became confusing as to their names, where the vehicles originated from, and the meaning of their titles. Thus, to help people understand titles, origins, and descriptions of vehicles from the 1700 and 1800s, here is a list from A to C.

Accommodation – This was the first American coach built and used for public service around 1827. It seated twelve persons, and passengers entered from the sides. The body was hung on leather thoroughbraces, similar to the manner of the Post-Coach but modified.
Adopticon – A particular type of advertising vehicle drawn by six horses and used in Chicago in 1887.
Alexander Car – This was a variety of a Dos-à-dos pleasure Cart with a cut-under body that allowed ample space for the axle and easy turning.
Alliance-Phaeton – A variety of park phaeton that was popular in England about 1850.
Ambulance – This is a derivation of the French ambulance, from hôpital ambulant, a moving hospital. It was a two or four-wheeled vehicle, mainly used for hospital and war service to carry the sick or wounded. It was generally constructed with easy suspension, a spring bed, and numerous compartments for medical appliances and supplies. In connection with war, it was sometimes referred to as a “flying hospital.” There were also many ambulances and the varieties were often named after the inventor.
Amish Buggy – A style of buggy used by the Amish sect in Indiana, Ohio, and Pennsylvania. See Buggy.
Americane – This was a term used in France for the American Buggy and synonymous with Boguet.
Amempton – A variety of the Landau invented and patented by Edwin Kesterton of London, England, in about 1855.

vehicle titles, origins, and descriptions of the 1700 and 1800s

Kesterton’s “Amempton” carriage. Public domain.

Band-Wagon – This wagon accommodated a musical band that was usually attached to a circus.
Barge – This was a new-England term for any large excursion wagon built after the form of the Wagonet, with seats running lengthwise.
Basket Phaeton – These phaetons had bodies made from canework.
Barouche – Derived from Latin bis rotum, Italian biroccio, French calèche, and German barutsche. A member of the Coach family, and in fact, a cut-down coach that consisted of an under-carriage and lower quarters of a coach, including the lower half of door with a hood covering the back seat, in place of a full-paneled top or Landau top. The name of this two-wheeled vehicle was due to the future of the hood as it had the characteristic of the Italian biroccio, its ancestor. Author, inventor and locomotive engineer, William Bridge Adams once said, “for fine weather the Barouche is one of the most delightful of all carriages.”[1]

Barouche. Public domain.

Barouchet – Diminutive of Barouche. A member of the Coach family and essentially a Barouche with a “Coupe” body. The vehicle commonly called the Couplélet was more properly called the Barouchet.
Bath-Wagon – This was a wagon that conveyed a bathtub and was called a Voiture de Bains in France.
Battlesden-Cart – Also known as Battlesden-Car, this vehicle was an English variety of the pleasure cart.
Beer Patrol Wagon – This was not a wagon but actually a Beer Delivery Cart with revolving frames for kegs that was popularized in Cincinnati, Ohio.
Berlin – Called in French Berline and in German Berlin. The Berlin was a member of the Coach family. Derived in 1770 “from Berlin, the capital city of Prussia, whence they were introduced.”[2] It flourished during the 1700s. It also marked an important era in the mechanical development of the Coach. It had a double perch and thorough braces and belonged to the period of gaudy ornamentation, when coaches were elaborately carved and gilded. In the 1800s, it was vaguely used to apply to a full-paneled Coach. This was also the type of coach that Louis XVI, Marie Antoinette, and their family used in their flight to Varennes.
Berlinet or Berlinette – A smaller version of the Berlin.
Berlingot or Carosse-Coupé – See Coupé.
Boat-Sleigh – This was a New England term used to describe a large excursion sleigh whose body outlines often resembled a boat.
Bob-Sled – The equivalent of the Bob-Sleigh but specifically applied to one used for business purposes, as distinguished from those used for pleasure.
Bob-Sleigh – A New-England term for any wheeled vehicle, either business or pleasure that was temporarily converted into a sleigh by removing the wheels.
Bob-Sleigh Grocers’ – A Bob-Sleigh adapted for grocery men.
Bobby-Hut – This was a New England term applied to a chariot or coach body swung by thoroughbraces on a sleigh’s running part. More specifically:

Hut is derived from hutch … [and] Hutch appears to be a very old English word, meaning a box, either on wheels or not. The wheeled box in which English and Scotch miners measure their output and send it to the mouth of the pit, is called a hutch; so is the tool-box on wheels, of railroad constructors. A rudely inclosed [sic] vehicle for gypsying is called a booby-hutch.”[2]

Bolster-Wagon – An old form of a road-wagon or buggy that was hung on side-bars and bolsters, without end-springs, so that it had stiff suspension particularly adapted for speed.
Bounder, Oxford – An old variety of dos-à-dos Dog-cart developed in England in about 1843. See also Dog-cart and Tax-cart.
Bracket-Front Wagon – This was a buggy make with a bracket at the front of the body, “either continuous with and forming the dasher, as in the case of the Jenny-Lind, or forming a semi-dasher, completed by a low additional one of leather.”[3]
Break – French term was braeck, a corruption of the English term, and in German Braeck. It was a member of the Phaeton group and described as a heavy driving vehicle. It obtained its name in England being literally used to “break in” colts or unruly horses because its weight, substantial build, and high driving-seat gave the driver the necessary control. In the 1800s, the term was applied more generally to a heavy phaeton used by gentlemen with two insides seats placed vis-à-vis, and a raised seat at the rear for grooms; this might more properly be termed a Drag Phaeton.
Brett – French equivalent was calèche and German calesche. Supposedly a corruption from Britzka. This term applied to a Barouche, having a Britzka pillar or other relic of the Britzka; but, by the late 1800s had no special significance.
Brewster-Wagon – This was a widely celebrated American buggy named after its manufacturer, the Brewsters of New York.
Britzka – Also spelled Britzska, the Britzka was commonly pronounced as if spelled bris-ka. The French equivalent was briska and the German equivalent Britzschka. It was derived from a Russian word said to be derived from the Polish bryczka, a diminutive of bryka, the freight wagon. It was also a member of the Coach group and said to be a variation of the basic Barouche. It was a posting carriage used throughout Europe during the first part of the 1800s. There were numerous accommodations for traveling in it and an endless variety of contrivances for sleeping, eating, reading, and carrying luggage. Adams claimed it became one of the most common of all carriages. “The reason,” he explained, “is its exceeding convenience, and adaptability to a great variety of purposes.”[4] Adams also described it in 1837 as follows: “It is very convenient carriage of traveling in foreign countries, especially for those who experience a difficulty in finding convenient beds, or who may be obliged to travel by night. There is ample room to lie at full length; and the step is placed outside, in order not to incommode the interior. A projection behind is adapted for bedding, and the front part is an elongation for the limbs. In addition to the ordinary lamps, a ready lamp can be attached behind to the back light, — an important convenience for traveling. One or two servants may be carried on the boot behind; and attached to the locker before is a board, which, when let down, forms a foot-board; a seat being placed on the locker, an arrangement is thus made for driving. An imperial can go on the roof; and, if the hind boot be taken away, one or two large trunks may be substituted. The front foot-board may also be let down to a horizontal level, and thus carry a large trunk.”[5]
Brouette – By the late 1800s this term was obsolete. It described a French vehicle, the body of which resembled a Sedan Chair, mounted on two wheels, and drawn by a man. Brouettes were the contemporaries of Sedan Chairs, and the proprietors of the latter interfered to have Brouettes prohibited; for a while their attempt was successful, but, in 1671, Brouettes were in general use in Paris as public hacks.
Brougham – The name was derived from Lord Brougham of England and the Brougham was a member of the Coach family. It had a full-paneled Coupé body, generally with a straight front-glass, instead of the swelled or circular front that characterized the true Coupé, and was a compact, low-hung, one-horse vehicle. It the late 1800s it was slightly different from the French Coupé, only being hung lower. Broughams were divided, according to size, into “single” and “double” Broughams, and “miniature” or “ladies” Broughams. Click here to learn more.
Brougham-Hansom – This was a public Cab first introduced in 1887. The driver’s seat was on the roof with entrance at the rear. It held three or four passengers, and inside the seat was constructed across the door so that the door could not open when passengers were seated inside.
Buckboard – This was primitive wagon used in the mountainous areas of the Eastern United States. The simplest form consisted of a seat attached to the center of a long spring-board and the latter bolted to two widely extended axles, with wheels. The bottom board thus taking the place of springs and the resulting motion, on rough and hilly roads, certainly more comfortable than ordinary steel springs.
Buckboard, Mail – This was a form of the Buckboard Wagon and accommodated two to six passengers. It was used for mail and passenger service in America’s far West, particularly in Yellowstone Park.
Buckboard Wagon – An American form of the Buggy developed from the primitive Buckboard mentioned above.

“The feature of a spring board is retained, either in place of springs, or supplementary … but this is shortened bringing the wheels closer together; and numerous thin slats are often substituted for the single spring-board, to afford increased elasticity.”[6]

Buckingham Wagon – The name was sometimes applied to a four-passenger open Phaeton.
Buggy – French equivalent was boguet and German buggie. The first mention of buggy occurs in the 1796 in the “Treatise on Carriages,” published in London by coachmaker William Felton. Felton said, “A Buggy is a cant term given to Phaetons or Chaises which can only contain one person or one seat; they are principally intended for lightness in draft, for the rider to sit snug in, and to preclude the possibility of an associate; mostly used with out-riders. They are built like other Phaetons or Chaises, and, to ascertain their value, is to subtract one-twelfth from the statement of a common sized carriage, finished to any pattern.”[7] The buggy of the late 1800s was a member of the Phaeton family and was a typical American vehicle of primitive form and simple construction that consisted of a box body, accommodated one or two passengers, and mounted on four wheels. There were many types of Buggies including: Britton Buggy, Coal-box Buggy, Monitor Buggy, Tray-body Buggy, and Yacht Buggy.
Bullock-Wagon – This was a traveling vehicle drawn by a team of bullocks and still in use in the 1880s in Cape Colony, South Africa, the location where the color self-proclaimed Emperor Norton of the U.S. lived as a youth.
Bus – This was an abbreviation for Omnibus.

Cab – An abbreviation for Cabriolet and modification of the Cabriolet, thereby allying it to the Coach Family. It was a two-wheeled public vehicle. The term Cab was first used in France when the original two-wheeled Cabriolet became the street hack of Paris. Although the term was applied to a large variety of vehicles, it was restricted to two-wheeled, one-horse, low-hung vehicles intended for public use.
Cab, Baggage – The American equivalent for the English term Luggage-Van and the French equivalent of fourgon.
Cabriolet – The word cabriolet is French for “to caper” or “to prance.” This vehicle superseded the Curricle. It was also related to the coach family because of its springy suspension. It was well suited for town but not for country driving. According to the Outing, it was invented by a Frenchman named Colonel Grobert and had originally an “exaggerated common or nautilus shell [shape].”[8] The Cabriolet was doorless, made to comfortably hold two people. It also had a moveable head that could be opened or closed, an apron to shelter people from inclement weather, and a removable tiger seat. Additionally, it was both heavy in weight and draught.
Calèche – Of French origins it was a carriage with a leather top, portable glass shutters on the sides, and a paneled front, with a sliding window. The whole front could be removed in a few minutes turning it into an elegant open Barouche, with a half-top over the back seat. It weighed about 1350 pounds.
Calash – This was essentially the Calèche but peculiar to America. It originated in the mid-1800s and had a folding hood at the rear quarters and a door in two halves.
Camel-Cars – These were railway cars drawn by camels and introduced in Central Asia in connection with caravan travel in the late 1800s.
Canoe-Landau – This was a Landau with the lower line forming a continuous sweep, as distinguished from an English-quarter Landau.
Car – A Jaunting-Car and about the only pleasure vehicle to which this term applied to in the 1880s.
Car, Baggage – The American equivalent for the English term Goods-Van or Luggage-Van and the modern French equivalent of fourgon.
Car, Funeral – A hearse with open sides, specifically designed for pageantry. See also Catafalque.
Car, Horse – This was the common American equivalent for Street-Car or the English Tram-Car.
Car, Juggernaut – See Juggernaut-Car.
Cariole – Also carriol or carrioli, from the French carriole,and a diminutive of the Celtic or Latin carrus. It was a nineteenth century vehicle that was small, light, and uniaxial. It was also open, horse-drawn, and usually for one person.
Carosse-Coupé – See Coupé.
Carriage – Called voiture in French and wagen in German. This was applied to any vehicle for passengers. Later a technical term that designated the part of the vehicle which was supported or carried the body, the carriage-part, or the gearing.
Carryall – This was a New-England provincialism for a Rockaway having curtain quarters. It was a family carriage.
Cart – Known in French as charrette or German as Karren. It was applied to humble two-wheel vehicles of simple and primitive construction and distinguished them from elaborately built carriages. There were various types of carts, including the Dog-cart (an aristocratic sporting vehicle) or the Whitechapel cart or Surrey cart of simple construction. Carts were commonly applied to business uses, such as the Grocer Cart, Tip Cart, Water Cart, etc. The term was not to be applied to a four-wheeled vehicle as that was properly designated a wagon.
Cart, Newport Pagnell – This was the name given a local pleasure cart built in Canterbury, England.
Cart, Sedan – See Sedan Chair.
Catafalque or Catafalco – Italian catafalco meant a scaffold or canopy. Thus, it was a funeral car with open sides, usually decorated with paintings or sculptures, and used in funeral solemnities.
Chair – An English term allied to the word Chaise but not its equivalent. It was used in the mid to late 18th century in both England and America.
Chaire – An old French form for the word Chaise.
Chaire or Char – Old English forms for the Chair, Chaire, or Chaise.
Chair, Rolling – This was a chair, mounted on four wheels and pushed from behind by a man. They were used in Victorian times in exhibitions and fairs. They were the Victorian equivalent of the old French Brouettes and could be so-called.
Chaise – The old Chaise was nothing more than a seat or chair mounted on wheels and drawn by one horse. The term was later used for a great variety of vehicles, but always confined to two-wheel class vehicles, with the exception of the Post-Chaise, which was originally a two-wheel vehicle and retained its old name when mounted on four wheels. See Post-Chaise. A further description of Chaises follows:

“Chaises have usually depended on the elasticity of the shafts, instead of springs, and the group of Chaises known in England, a century or more ago, as Whiskies, Chairs, etc. oftentimes had this characteristic. This trait reached later a phase of development in the group of two-wheel vehicles known as the New-England or Boston Chaise. In this type … the body was hung by braces from the shafts, which were elongated and bent upward so as to form a spring at the back of the vehicle.”[9]

Chaise-á-Porteurs – This was a French term that literally meant “chair by porters,” and was synonymous with the English term Sedan Chair.
Chaise, Porte – A contraction of the Chaise-á-Porteurs.
Chaise, Quaker – An old form of Chaise, known also as the Grasshopper-Chaise Whisky and described as follows:

“All the framings form an agreeably connected line; it being exactly on the same principle as the Whisky, which was built from them, having the springs in the same way fixed to the axletree, and the body united with the carriage, but only different in its shape; the framing of the body being much wider, shows more panel, which extends to the shafts at the corners, and is arched up in an agreeable form between the bearings. They have a more solid appearance than the Whisky, and are on that account preferred by most persons, and in particular by those called Quakers, and for that reason are by some called Quaker Chaises, and by others Serpentine or Sweeped-bottom Chaises.”[10]

Chaise Roulante – This is a French term that literally means “a rolling chair.” It applied to vehicles used in the early 1700s in European courts and was used for short trips across a courtyard or from palace to palace, by courtiers and maids of honor.
Char-a-Banc – This French term literally means a vehicle with benches or long seats “arranged across the vehicle and sometimes tiered to afford uninterrupted views of the road.”[11] Char-a-Banc are members of the Phaeton family. The seats were arranged lengthwise rather than facing the horse and sometimes as many as twenty-four passengers could be accommodated. The near equivalent was the English term Wagonet. The Char-a-Banc, termed affectionately “charas” by the British, remained popular well into the motor age.
Chariot – Chariots were members of the Coach family. The first time the term was used was to describe a pleasure carriage during Queen Anne’s reign when the French Coupé was used in England and there was a fad where everything with classic titles was called Chariot. The body of the Chariot was nearly like the Brougham or Coupé, but it was hung very high, with large wheels, much dished, and a long and heavy perch. The Chariot was always accompanied by footmen. Footmen were necessary, even with folding steps. This was because footmen had to assist passenger, particularly ladies, in and out of the carriage at a distance of about four to five feet. The aristocratic Chariot was then superseded by the Brougham and the Coupé. However, the Chariot was still built in the 1880s. One person noted of the chariot:

“[It could] be seen in large numbers in London at drawing-room receptions and court levees … with modifications of modern inventions and mechanical improvements … and used as a court or dress carriage.”[12]

Chariottee – This was a provincial term that was obsolete in England but used in the U.S. in the early 1800s. The Chariottee resembled the Extension-top Phaeton of the 1880s.
Charvolant – This was a curious four-wheel vehicle with a kite attachment that traveled by the force of the wind. Click here to learn more.

The Kite-Carriage or Charvolant. Courtesy of Wikipedia.

Circus-Wagon – An ornamental wagon used by circuses for pageants.
Clarence – This vehicle was a member of the Coach family and named in honor of the Duke of Clarence. It was a decadent carriage and displayed at the Paris Exposition in 1878. It remained fashionable into the 1870s when it passed into the hands of hackmen. The Clarence was described in the following manner:

“[A] Glass-front coach, having a semi-circular front glass, paneled quarters, full sweep to the bottom-side, full seats for four pasengers [sic] inside, and hung on elliptic springs in front, elliptic and C-springs behind, and always without a perch. … A reaction naturally followed the popular demand for democratic simplicity, compactness and economy, which was appeased in 1839, by the Brougham, and a number of efforts were made to restore the dignity of its predecessor, the Chariot. One of these was an attempt … to initiate a style of Brougham retaining the hammer-cloth and footman’s board; this was a failure, but another was more successful, namely, that which resulted in the vehicle known today as the Clarence, introduced in London about 1840.”[13]

Coach – The French equivalent was coche and the German equivalent Kutsche. It is generally agreed that the word comes from the “Gypsy Magyars, who traveled about in their vehicles, and in fact lived in them.”[14] Through all its changes the Coach identifies itself with the idea of suspension. The earliest coach appears to be the coach that Louis XIV entered Paris in about 1650.

“It was suspended by short braces extending from upright pillars or posts to the corners of the body: when modified later by the influence of the Berlin, these braces were made to pass clear under the body … and by successive development the perch was gradually curved until it assumed the forms known as ‘swan-neck’ and ‘crane-neck.’ Afterward came the idea of bending giving a little spring to the wooden pillars to which the braces were attached: from this movement originated a series of improvements which resulted in the ‘S-spring,’ afterward in the ‘whip-spring,’ and finally in the ‘C-spring’ used in the late 1800s. One of the most important developments in the construction of coaches consisted in framing the boot into the body; this change occurred in the early part of the present century. Another important change followed the invention of elliptic springs in 1804, by Obadiah Elliot, of England; and later that of platform springs, which led to the abandonment of the perch.”[15]

There are various coaches, the “glass-front Coach, the “State Coach,” the “Stage Coach,” and the “Four-in-hand Coach.”
Coach, Cardinal’s – This vehicle was a State Coach used by a Cardinal and had the distinguishing characteristic of being painted red.
Coach, Concord – A substantially built thoroughbrace Coach used for travel or hotel use. Named for Concord, New Hampshire, where it was built for many years by Abbots and the Downings.
Coach, Crane-Neck – An old form of coach characterized by its crane-neck.
Coach, Flying – A term applied to early Stage-Coaches in England.
Coach, Four-in-Hand – This was a heavy, four-horse coach. These coaches were fashionable when the Prince of Wales patronized them. For more on the Four Horse Club during the Regency Era, click here.
Coach, Hammercloth – A coach that had a hammercloth driver’s seat.
Coach, Mail – This coach acquired its name during the days when coaches carried the mail. To learn more about Mail Coaches, click here.
Coach, Powell – Styled as the “Washington Coach,” this coach was falsely represented as having belonged to General George Washington. It was built in 1790 by a Scotsman named David Clark in Philadelphia and was also possibly the only old American coach still manufactured in the Victorian Era.
Coach, Salisbury-Boot – It was a coach characterized by the feature for which it was named.
Coach, Stage – This vehicle was a traveling Coach peculiar to the ante-railway period and called as such because journeys at the time were done in stages, after which the horses were changed and sometimes the coach. The Stage Coach relied on four to six horses to pull it, and, in the late 1800s, it was still used in places where railways were unavailable.
Coach, State – This was a European coach used for royalty or high officials and distinguished by being drawn by six or more horses, along with postillions, outriders, and numerous footmen and attendants. The bodies of these Coaches were often elaborate, gilded, and painted by eminent artists. They had a hammercloth driving seat, footmen boards, and open quarters decorated with costly curtains. However, their suspension was usually primitive with long braces so that their ponderous bodies produced an uncomfortable swaying motion for occupants riding inside.
Coachee – A mid-nineteenth century American coach used primarily in the southern States.
Coal-Box – These were a class of Buggy bodies, partly cut down at the front and rear and so named because they resembled in shape the ordinary grocer’s coal-box.
Coal-Box Buggy – This was the successor of the Yacht Buggy but less sporting-like. The body was very high behind (about 12 inches) and cut as low as possible in the front, leaving only the sill. It had a straight square dash and generally no top. It was first introduced as the “The Gentleman’s Wagon,” and was designed by James W. Lawrence of New York about 1862. A rival then introduced a similar buggy advertised as “The Coal-Box,” intended in derision of the name used by the inventor.
Cob-Cart or Cob-Phaeton – A small vehicle adapted for use with a cob or small horse. It was usually distinguished from a Pony-Cart or Pony Phaeton because of its less aristocratic appointments.
Concord Buggy – This was named for where the Concord Buggy was first built, Concord, New Hampshire. It was a side-spring, three-perch Buggy, with a body cut low in the front and back.
Conestoga Wagon – This was a primitive form of the six-horse traveling wagons first introduced in 1794 by the Conestoga pike-road of Pennsylvania, which was the first turnpike in America. It was afterward supplanted by railways.
Conveniency – An old slang term for a Coach and first used in Sir Walter Scott’s historical novel, “Waverley.”
Copicutt – This was a small compact Phaeton with two seats; the back seats were similar to a lid, and the back-end of the body slanted forward from the bottom bar.
Corbillard – The was a horse-drawn French hearse of the late 1800s.
Corning Buggy or Corning Wagon – A Victorian form of the Coal-Box Buggy, with cut-down front, deep sides, and molded panels on both body and seat. It was hung on either side-bars or elliptic springs. When made with a close top, it formed a convenient Physician’s Phaeton. This type of Buggy belonged to the square-box body or the Coal-Box patterns because having a square-box body, with that part of the side-panels forward of the seat cut away. It was always made with a top and first built by Brewster & Company of New York in 1875. It was so named because the first one was sold to Erastus Corning of Albany, New York.
Coupé – From the French coupé, meaning to cut, and signifying a Coach cut in two. It was a member of the Coach family. The term coupé technically described all forms of cutting down Coach bodies but was eventually identified with one vehicle that was cut down.

“When the Berlin was naturalized in France, it was there cut down in many ways, with a view to great elegance of shape, and superior compactness and convenience. It was cut longitudinally and latitudinally; it was halved and quartered; the front cut off, the top cut off, and, in fact, it was coupé’d in every manner which fancy could devise. … When the Berlin was cut in halves longitudinally, the resulting vehicle was called the ‘Vis-à-vis’ … in which form it accommodated two persons … When the process of Coupéing was carried still further, and the Vis-à-vis was also cut down latitudinally, … the Berlin was so dismembered that but one-quarter of it remained; this vehicle, accommodating one passenger only, was appropriately called a ‘Desobligeant’ or ‘Disobliger’ whose equivalent was afterward known in England as the Post-Chaise. The Carosse-Coupé or Berlingot, when first used for travel, was called a ‘Diligence,’ on account of the speed with which it performed the journey from Paris to Calais, whose equivalent was afterward known in England as the Chariot.”[16]

During the late 1800s, the term Coupé in France was widened and applied to the modern Diligence, the front compartment of a railway coach, and as the class-name for vehicles known in America as Coupés and Broughams. In England, the term Coupé was never really used. However, they borrowed from the French one of the early forms of the Coupé, which they called the Chariot and the more compact form was known as the Brougham. In America, the terms Coupé and Brougham were synonymous, but by Victorian times, there was a tendency to distinguish between the two. The Term Brougham was applied to the class of English built, small, low-hung, and straight-front vehicles without a child’s seat. The term Coupé was used for larger class vehicles that had a circular or curved front glass and a hinged child’s seat. When the Coupé was large enough to accommodate a full framed seat in place of the hinged child’s seat so that there were four permanent seats inside, it was known as a Clarence.
Coupelet – This was the diminutive of Coupé. It was a member of the coach family and a Coupé was modified by substituting a Calèche top for a paneled top. In addition, it differed from the Landaulet having no standing front. This vehicle would also be more precisely described as a Barouchet.
Curate Cart – This was an English variety of the pleasure cart.
Curricle – This vehicle acquired its name from the ancient Roman vehicle curriculum. It was applied to the Gig used by dandies, and it differed from the Gig only in its elaborateness and splendor. It had two horses united by a silver bar supporting a silver-mounted pole, and preceded, or was followed by mounted grooms. After a time, economy became more important and there was a sacrifice of contour and elegance, the horses of the grooms were dispensed with, and the latter were provided for by the addition of a sort of rumble behind the Curricle, which balanced the pole and took the weight off the backs of the horses. The most original Curricle of the late eighteen and early nineteenth century belonged to the flamboyant and eccentric Romeo Coates and was in the shape of nautilus shell. The last dandy in London to drive a Curricle was Count d’Orsay, who lived openly with his mother-in-law, Marguerite Power, Countess of Blessington. Mechanically, similar to the Gig, it consisted of a Cabriolet body, with a falling top, two wheels, and was hung on C-spring.
Cutter – This vehicle was a two-passenger sleigh. It did not have a rumble and was driven with one or two horses. There were two classes of cutters, the “Portland Cutters” and the “Albany Cutters,” and these were so-called because of the cities where they were built.
Cutter, Dexter – This was a light Portland Cutter and named after the celebrated trotting horse, Dexter, who dominated at harness races in the mid to late 1860s.


  • [1] Adams, W.B., English Pleasure Carriages, 1837, p. 229.
  • [2] The Automotive Manufacturer, Vol. 28, 1887, p. 498.
  • [3] Ibid.
  • [5] Ibid., p. 226-227.
  • [6] The Automotive Manufacturer, p. 498.
  • [7] Ibid., p. 434.
  • [8] Ibid., p. 435.
  • [9] Ibid.
  • [10] Ibid., p. 574.
  • [11] Ingram, A., Horse-Drawn Vehicles Since 1760, 1977, p. 154.
  • [12] The Automotive Manufacturer, p. 435.
  • [13] Ibid., p. 438.
  • [14] Ibid., p. 498.
  • [15] Ibid., p. 499.
  • [16] Ibid.

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