Friday, 18 September 2009

Carriage crazy

I'm still captivated by the ads in this 1858 edition of The Times. In many ways, we haven't changed much - just as there's a cool car culture now (hopefully dying), there was a cool carriage culture, with varieties such as the Clarence, Phaeton, Sociable, Landau, Brougham and Barouche. Some of the existing lines (one lady owner) are clearly older than I thought:

CLARENCE to be DISPOSED OF, the property of a lady, who from ill-health is incapable of using it again. It will consequently be sold a bargain. May be seen at 71, Great Queen-street, Lincoln's-inn fields.

SOCIABLE, 75 Guineas ; Brougham, 75 Guineas. To prevent trouble and loss of time, particulars are given. Sociable–head removes. Brougham–circular front. Cost £140 each. Elegant and scarcely soiled. A lady breaking up her establishment. 29, Davies-street, Berkeley-square.

UNDER the PATRONAGE of Her Most Gracious MAJESTY, and the Kings of SARDINIA and PORTUGAL.– Messrs. Lenny and Co., coachbuilders and harnessmakers, 20, 21, 22, and 23, North-end, Croydon, beg to call attention to their NEW REGISTERED HOLFORD, forming a complete close carriage, with wicker or plain panels, and weighing only 5 1/2cwt., suitable for a 14 hands horse. They are building for full-sized horses, single and double seated, lighter by hundreds of pounds than any other close carriage built. N.B. Carriages of all kinds built to order, or on hire, with liberty to purchase, and for exportation ; also their cheap, light, and elegant Croydon basket carriages, in every shape and size.
Let's not forget the children:

STUDY your CHILDREN'S HEALTH, and buy one of HILL'S PATENT SAFETY PERAMBULATORS, at the wholesale price. Invalid carriages in variety. Illustrated price list for one stamp.–Hill's manufactory, 212, Piccadilly: established as coachmakers 30 years.

Then you need to take your carriage out for a slap-up feed amidst the Great Stink, or perhaps on holiday:

THE BEST DINNERS in London are at the ROYAL WINE SHADES, 5, Leicester-square, consisting of six soups, six sorts of fish, and eight joints, cheeses and celery, all for 1s. 6d. per head, from 2 o'clock until half-past 8.

STATE OF THE THAMES.–J. D. ROBERTS begs to announce that the bad state of the Thames has never been perceptible at the ARTICHOKE, but that the pure air for which Blackwall has always been celebrated is still equally delightful and refreshing–Artichoke Tavern, Blackwall, July, 1858.

The Artichoke was an ancient pub, soon demolished for the Blackwall Tunnel. Its air may not have been as pure as advertised: a guano processing plant was located nearby…

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