Thursday, 17 September 2009

Shopping, 1858 style!

A gentleman can be kitted out most handsomely through the good offices of The Times:

HORSE and DOG CART for SALE–a fast trotting little horse and good light dog cart, harness and stable gear. Price £80. The property of S. J. Auld, Esq., the Grove, Hanwell. Particulars to be had at Rymer's stables, Cambridge-Street, Edgeware-road.

Oddly enough, my wallet is from this next company (a present from my father), and they also make this, which I really, really want:

SWAINE and ADENY, whip manufacturers to Her Majesty and H. R. H. the Prince Consort, and Royal Family, inform the public that they have no other establishment than at 185, Piccadilly, opposite Burlington House, W. A handsome assortment of all kinds of whips, including prize whips and whips for presents parasol and fan whips, patent seamless handle whips, chowries for the East Indies, Rhinoceros horn whips and other novelties always on hand ; also stock whips for Australia and New Zealand. N.B. merchants and shippers liberally dealt with.

(A chowry was a fly whisk, often made with the bushy end of a yak's tail).

If you think a dog cart (not, I hasten to add, a cart pulled by dogs, unfortunately), then hearken to this politely hectoring address - car salesmen haven't changed much:

WHY DO YOU DRIVE A RATTLETRAP?–See opinions of scientific gentlemen and others on M. DAVIS'S PATENT CAOUTCHOUC CARRIAGE WHEELS:–"Like walking a velvet-carpet without shoes" "They impart a delightful exhilirating, exciting and thrilling buoyancy to the spirits." "It is surprising that from time immemorial carriagemakers, although they perceive wheels fail at the weak points, pursue no steps to a remedy. By the simple contrivance you have patented, you have completely mastered this defect ; but it is infinitely more surprising that our carriagebuilders should raise their superstructure on a crumbling corner stone." "Applied to omnibuses and cabs, it would convert them into real saloons, and not a name without the qualification the name implies." "Your Patent Caoutchouc Wheels is an undertaking deserving public support. It would save the country above a million per annum in road-making, and the streets of London would be the finest and leanest in the world." "I know from actual experiment that there is not perceptible wear in caoutchouc or a proper preparation of Indiarubber." "I consider iron-tired wheels dangerous to drive compared with your patent caoutchouc. The difference consists in a continuous and an intermittent noise. You cannot judge the distance of the rolling, deafening, massive bars of iron, but the intermittent intonation from the horses feet strike the ear in time to avoid danger." "The hind seat of a dog-cart is something fearful to many persons–with patent caoutchouc wheels it is as comfortable as 'my old arm chair'."–Caoutchouc Wheel Works, 5, Lyon's-inn, Strand : M. Davis, patentee and manager.

Caoutchouc is rubber. Tomorrow: servants and household furnishings.

1 comment:

intelliwench said...

Saddened to see that Swaine and Adney are no longer in the whip business...