Carriages and their Parts
- A four-wheeled carriage with a falling top and a driver's seat on the outside.
The two inside seats face each other. The vehicle is usually pulled by four
horses in pairs. It has the undercarriage and lower quarters of a full coach
with a hood over only the rear seat.
- trunk or enclosed area to carry goods, still used
that way in Britain for the "trunk" of an automobile.
- -named after the first Lord Brougham
who designed the carriage 1838-39; a four-wheeled close carriage adapted
to either two or four persons having a curved opening underneath the
driver's seat in front, able to turn in a narrow space. It is a one
horse vehicle with varieties "single", "double" and "bow front".
- buggy (Anglo-Indian):
- from Hindu baygi-gig - to move;
- 1. A light vehicle, either with or without a top, generally with but one seat,
and drawn by one or two horses. A name given to phaeton, or chaise but always for
- 2. In England, a light one-horse, two wheeled vehicle without a hood.
(Used in Regency times, see Vanity Fair, entered the vernacular in Victorian period)
- -from French caisse-chest; a military term for an
- -Middle English-cariage-a baggage transport and
Old French carriage-a cart; a wheeled vehicle for conveyance of people
or things. Originally any vehicle for passengers. Later used for the
frame, axle, and wheels which carry the body, "under-carriage".
- -Middle English kart, Anglo Saxon craet, Irish
cairt; A general name inclusive of a number of vehicles differing in
construction and use, as:
- (a) a heavy vehicle for rough work,
usually two wheeled and fitted for one horse;
- (b) a light,two-wheeled pleasure carriage, with or without a top;
- (c)colloquially, any wheeled vehicle, as a delivery cart.
- -from French chaise-a chair; a two wheeled vehicle
for two persons, drawn by one horse, and generally furnished with a hood
that can be let down. A light weight vehicle, a seat on a framework with
- Generally an enclosed four-wheeled carriage seating up
to three people, and driven by a rider mounted on one of the horses
(see "postilion"). The more or less standard vehicle for families
which are "respectable", but not extremely wealthy.
- A chaise used with rented horses (see "post"). The postchaise
was always yellow and was sometimes referred to as "a yellow bounder."
It was controlled by a postillion riding one of the horses. The "hack"
post-chaise used by Mrs. Long in Pride and Prejudice was itself
- -from the Duke of Clarence. A coach with curved
glass front, fully paneled body with elliptic springs at the front and
both elliptic and C-springs at the rear.
- -from French coche - Hungarian kocsi; A
four-wheel closed vehicle of considerable size drawn by four or six
horses. It is applied to a vehicle with fixed head, doors and
- Coach dog:
- A Dalmatian dog raised in the stable with the coach team so that the dog is attached to the horses and protective of the team and carriage. The dog is trained to run under the back axles of a coach and to protect the carriage on outings and the team in the stable. Dalmatian coach dogs were considered living ornamental accessories to a carriage and were the first "car alarms."
- In the stables of wealthy European countries, the head coachman held a position
of authority, controlling a staff of underlings ranging from under coachman
to stable boy, each with clearly defined duties and distinctive clothing.
Even families without claim to a coat-of-arms would provide livery for their
coachmen and grooms. The coachmen's garb included a greatcoat with one or
more shoulder capes to lead rain off the shoulders.
- cocking cart:
A high seat two wheeler with a small box body for the carrying of
fighting cocks. This style, and that of the dog cart, became the basis
for many of the commercial carts used from Georgian thru Victorian
- --from French couper-to cut, used originally to
denote cut down coach bodies. Later used to signify a larger vehicle
similar to a Brougham, yet smaller than a Clarence.
- curate cart:
- -A small one horse type of two wheeled cart.
- -from Latin curriculum-racecourse for chariots and currere-to run as in careen; a chaise or showy carriage with two wheels, drawn by two horses abreast with a bar across the backs of the horses to carry the weight of the pole.
- Holmes earned an entry in the Oxford English Dictionary for this use of
the term for "dashboard", the carriage part under and in front of the driver's
feet that protects against flying dirt kicked up by the horse's hooves.
- Dog Cart:
- It was made with a ventilated compartment
used to carry sporting dogs such as greyhounds to a coursing event. Similarly the Cocking Cart
was used to accommodate fighting cocks. Again, as in the case of
the Dog-Cart, these carriages developed into pleasure carts and
were rarely used to transport either cocks or hounds.
This kind of vehicle would normally have been driven in tandem
and that's the reason for its height. This characteristic also
makes it a difficult carriage to drive and it could easily have
been thrown out of balance by any sudden movement of the groom in
- exercising cart:
- A light road cart used merely for exercising horses.
- -A light carriage, with one pair of wheels
suspended on thoroughbraces, drawn by one horse. Later versions are the
curricle, cabriolet, Dennet, Stanhope, and Tilbury. The Stanhope was a
small two seater designed by Fitzroy Stanhope, the second son to the
Third Earl Stanhope. It was suspended on four springs to provide a
smoother ride. By 1830 it was a popular vehicle for trips between the
suburbs and the city.
- -A male servant employed to care for horses. He might accompany a carriage
on an outing to look after the horses while the owner was away from the horse
and carriage. Curricles had a small seat at the back of the carriage to accommodate
a groom. His duties included currying, saddling or harnessing, feeding and
watering the horses, and oiling their harness. A groom in a large establishment
would answer to a head groom with the head coachman as the overall director
of the stable.
- -A horse or coach kept for hire. Name derived
from a french word for a slow moving hired horse. The hackney coaches
were numbered, licensed, and regulated with strict rules about
cleanliness and fares.
- The Hansom Cab derives its name from its inventor,
Joseph Hansom, an English architect, who patented the design in 1834. It
is a low-hung "safety cab" or hackney carriage with two wheels, seating
two persons and having an elevated seat behind for the driver. The
driver could open and shut the passenger doors from where he sat.
- A closed carriage of German origin. A coach
with two seats and a head in two sections which may be opened and folded
back, drop windows to make it an open carriage in good weather.
- Mail coach:
- -The official mail coaches, which plied
a certain route carrying mail and passengers with stops at specific
coaching Inns on the way. They are very large coaches with a seat
for the driver in front and additional seats for passengers on top
and at the rear. Usually pulled by a team of six horses, which are
changed at the regular post stops so they can run all the way.
- Park Drag:
- -A large private coach with a seat for two footmen at the rear used
for traveling or formal occasions.The Park Drag is a derivative of the
earlier English Mail Coach and Road Coach which crisscrossed Britain
by the hundreds, carrying passengers and mail in the late 18th and early
19th century. The mail coach so captured the imagination of people of
the time that the coach, coachman, and Mail Guard became celebrities.
It became fashionable for young men to buy up coaches to drive for sport
and play. After the Mail Coach was replaced by the railroad even more
people acquired the out of use Mail Coaches. It became so popular that
Club was formed in London in the early 19th century and driving
meets were often held in Hyde Park even more coaching associations were
formed by late in the Century. The coaches used by the members
began to be referred to as "Park Coaches."
- -from Greek phaethon-to shine;
- 1. A character in mythology: a boy who tried to drive the sun
chariot, who was destroyed by Jupiter with a thunderbolt to prevent
him from setting the world on fire.
- 2. A light four-wheeled carriage with open sides in front of the seat,
generally drawn by one horse. The term was first applied to classify
a carriage during that 18th and early 19th century period in France
when it was so fashionable to use classical pseudonyms. Usage of the
term spread quickly to England and America. There are few distinguishing
characteristics that can restrict the use of the term -- perhaps only
that it is an owner driven vehicle with no coachman's seat and that
it nearly always includes some sort of top that would shelter, at least,
The picture shows a variation referred to as a Crane
|This style, a "High Perch" phaeton, cornered well for such a tall carriage, being well sprung, and was popular with sporting drivers, or those interested in fast driving.|
- George IV Phaeton:
- Various phaetons, termed George IV Phaetons were manufactured by many
builders in both England and America. The basic design was copied from
a carriage that was originally made for King George IV of England in
1824. The King was then elderly and grown very heavy. He still wanted
to drive his own carriage on occasion and asked that one be built that
would allow him easy entry. As ladies began to drive more commonly this
design appealed to them because of this ease of access. After a time,
carriages of this design-type were often referred to as Ladies Phaetons.
- -A man who rides the left or lead horse of a pair, especially the
lead pair drawing a vehicle, in order to better control the lead pair
of horses. The postillion may aid a coachman with six-horse teams as
shown in the illustration. In the case of a post-chaise he guides the
team in place of a coachman by riding the leader. From Travel in England
by Thomas Burke, London: B. T. Batsford, Ltd., p. 104: He [Prince Puckler-Muskau,
who toured England in 1826] found our postillions smart and accomplished,
and noted that they were all men of small stature and light weight (like
a jockey). Postillions (or post-boys, as they were called, though many
of them were grey-haired) had a livery of their own. This was a short
single-color jacket, a shiny white hat, white cord breeches, top-boots,
white stock [neckcloth], and yellow waistcoat with pearl buttons. At
all the posting-houses, horses in pairs were kept ready in harness day
and night, and the post-boys themselves had to be fully dressed during
the day if they were the 'next turn-out.' Most houses kept ten or a
dozen post-boys, who went out in rotation. Stanley Harris, in his Old
Coaching Days, quotes a set of printed rules that hung in the yard
of a famous posting-house. One of them was 'That the first and second
turn post-boy shall be always booted and spurred, with their horses
ready harnessed, from eight o'clock in the morning until seven o'clock
- -colloq. a vehicle with a horse or horses, refers to the ropes used in nautical
- -A boy employed as a cute groom to ride on the back of a curricle or other small carriage. The name tiger derives from the yellow and black striped waist coat worn by these grooms.
- -after the inventor, a London coach builder;
A kind of gig, or two-wheeled vehicle without a top or cover.
- -Danish wagen; A four wheeled-vehicle, especially,
one built for carrying heavy loads, usually wood banded and reinforced with metal.
- An early form of chaise. A light two wheeled vehicle
without a top. Named for its ability to move smartly or to "whisk"
Vehicle Parts and terms
- The shaft which supports the body of the carriage,
including arms or spindle which carries the wheels.
- The part of the carriage supporting the driver's
seat. Later carriages had the boot framed into the body proper and the
term became associated with a leather covered box placed under the
- elliptical springs:
- Steel carriage springs invented by
Obadiah Elliott in 1804. They made the ride much smoother and the
carriages more stable, thus safer.
- A part, usually separate wooden part, of a wheel,
in which the spokes fit, and is surrounded by a metal tire.
- Large flat trunks fitted to the top of coaches.
- is a tough, elastic wood useful for shafts and bows
- An important locking pin inserted crosswise
through the shaft.
- Process of measuring the track of a vehicle
where the dimension is taken to the outsides of the two wheels on the
same axle. Other procedures were in-to-in, or out-to-in, all giving
- The shaft of a vehicle, the wooden part connecting
it to the horse.
- A leather brace used as a spring to help
support a carriage.
- whippletree or whiffletree:
- The pivoted, swinging bar, to
which the traces of the horse's harness are fastened, and which hangs in
front of the wheels and pulls the vehicle.
In the 18th century the landau was developed. It was a four-wheeled carriage
with a hood that could be opened and thrown back to allow the passengers to
ride in the open air. After mid-century, the sporting carriage was the phaeton,
which was very high and renowned for its ability to negotiate sharp turns. Its
reputation as a dangerous vehicle only added to its popularity with reckless
The 19th century brought two revolutionary developments that did more to advance
long-distance overland travel than any previous inventions. One was the invention
of elliptical steel springs by Obadiah Elliott in 1804. Because these springs
made it possible to build vehicles without a perch, or lower framework, safe
and sturdy carriages could now be made lightweight as well. The second development
was the building of the macadamized roads beginning
in 1815. The roads designed by John McAdam and his associates beginning in 1815
had a coefficient of friction less than one-third of that of common dirt roads.
In 1375, the King of Scotland's ransom was brought "with all speed" to London,
at the rate of only 30 miles per day, according to the Encyclopedia Britannica.
In its hey day the Royal Mail Coach traveled at ten miles per hour.