1868 Horse Drawn Brougham


Early Commercial Vehicles1868-1919

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Engravings and photographs in the mid-Victorian era show as great a variety of horse-drawn vehicles as there are motor vehicles on the streets of London today: public and private carriages, omnibuses, 2-wheeled hansoms. Of the utility vehicles there were huge lumbering wagons with wide wheels pulled by six or more horses carrying timber, stone, coal and other material and lighter vehicles for local deliveries of everyday goods. These lighter vehicles could be open or closed. This type was an adaptation of the brougham meant originally for use as an estate or private vehicle, the large windows on each side replaced by panels. Prince Albert may have brought it from Germany in 1845or it may have been derived from an Irish wagonette. With its rear entrance it had advantages over side entry and the cranked rear axle allowed a low well to provide easy access. The driver was perched on a hollow box structure as in a brougham joined to the body. The strength of the vehicle depended on this connection. Private carriages were usually made to order but commercial vehicles were built first and then offered for sale. Weight was of primary importance and new methods of retaining strength but reducing the weight were always sought after. This vehicle weighed just over three-quarters of a ton and was probably the lightest yet strongest conveyance of its type. A pair of light draught horses could easily pull it at a trot. Speed became one of its greatest assets and many hospitals used them as ambulances – King Edward VII was conveyed in one in 1902 during the illness which postponed his coronation.

Additional information

Weight 0023 kg
Dimensions 48 × 35.7 cm