Page:1902 Encyclopædia Britannica - Volume 26 - AUS-CHI.pdf/663

From Wikisource
Jump to navigation Jump to search
This page needs to be proofread.

CARRIAGES 607 back, contrasting strongly with the qualities which dis- in a modified form, though eventually in a greater or less tinguish a graceful equipage; yet the practical advan- degree it is now the prevailing style. tages were such that, in the absence of other objections, While the better types of English carriages are still this became a secondary consideration. The sanguine pre-eminent in their constructive qualities, and represent anticipations of the inventor have not, however, been the well-known characteristics of individual firms, some realized in England, owing to fears as to the difficulty emulation may be excited by the elegant taste and careful of keeping the tyres fully inflated under the weight which French builders display in points of of a, carriage carrying four or more persons, and workmanship nish, both internally and externally. Of the arious their liability to puncture and explosion. In Paris typps c)f carnages now in vogue, the Victoria, in its many and its neighbourhood and many parts of France, varieties of form, is the most popular, accompanied, as of pneumatic tyres are to be seen in frequent use both on necessity, by the double Victoria, Sociable, Brougham, public and private conveyances. In another form the Landaulet, and Landau. Four-in-hand coaches for private indiarubber tyre has become of almost universal applica- use, as well as the “ road ” coaches, are built on a smaller tion. Owing to an ingenious inven- scale than formerly; 6 feet 8 inches may now be taken as tion of Mr Garment, what appeared the standard height of the roof from the ground. Owing to be an insuperable difficulty in roll- to the encouragement given by the Four-in-hand and ing a grooved tyre was overcome Coaching Clubs, the ascendancy of this style of driving is (Fig. 3). This so simplified the still preserved to Great Britain; and in association with application as to bring the cost within it the Char-a-banc, Mail Phaeton, Wagonette, and FourFig. 3. practicable limits. The grooved tyre wheel Dog-cart retain their popularity. Of two-wheeled is now made in several sections, in vehicles the Polo-cart and Ralli-cart are most in favour, some of which the inward projection for securing the to which may be added the Governess-car, which is rubber is dispensed with, this being kept in position by found convenient for many purposes not implied by its wires running through the whole length, and electrically name. lor a few years an effort was made, but with very welded at the point of contact. Whatever be the method indifferent success, to bring into fashion the Tandemchosen for securing the tyre, the best tyres, both for cart, which may again be considered almost obsolete in durability and ease, are those in which the rubber provided England, though not so in the United States, where the is most resilient in its nature. taste for this style of driving obtains. For street purposes In the ninth edition of this work reference is made to the ^Hansom-cab, named after the inventor, an architect automatic arrangements for the lifting and lowering of in Birmingham, and greatly improved by Messrs Border the hoods of Victorias and other such carriages, and the and others, remains unrivalled. Since 1875 the public opening and closing of Landaus. There are now many con- omnibuses of London have been much improved in comtrivances with this object, of which the most to be preferred fort and ventilation, the easy staircase and convenient are the simplest in their arrangements. The quarter-light seats making the roof attractive to persons of both sexes. or five-glass Landau is a carriage which has been greatly imAmerica has long held a prominent position in conproved during this period. The complicated adjustments of nexion with the carriage industry. In all the chief cities pillars, windows, and roof have been replaced by one simple manufactories on a colossal scale are to be found, produparallel movement. The first public exhibition of a cing thousands of vehicles annually and equipped with the finished carriage on this principle was by an English firm most perfect labour-saving machinery; and as vehicles of at the Paris Exhibition of 1876 (Fig. 4). any particular pattern—many of small value—are required, not singly, but in large numbers, much economy is exercised in their manufacture. It is remarkable that, as a contrast to the popular Buggy, Wagon, and Rockaway of the States, which are to be found in infinite variety, carriage establishments of the wealthy are not considered complete unless furnished with some of a European character, selected from the most eminent firms of London or Paris, in addition to others of their own manufacture. In Paris preference is given to an excess of bulk, with elaborate scroll ornamentation and diminutive windows, forming indeed, by reason of its exaggeration, a distinctive class. In respect of workmanship and finish, carriages by the best-known American builders leave In the matter of style certain types of carriages have nothing to be desired. The International Exhibition of Paris, 1900, brought passed through marked changes during this period. together examples from various Continental countries, in Extreme lightness was at one time considered by many the one desideratum both as to appearance and actual some of which a preference for curvilinear outline was weight, in providing which ease of movement and com- displayed, but the best examples followed very closely the fortable seating of the occupants became secondary con- well-known English styles. In the French section it was to find a revival of the once all-prevailing siderations—though to these extremes builders of repute interesting were always opposed. Still, when at the International Chariot, Barouche, and Britzska, suspended on C and underspfings, with perch, but with ideas of lightness somewhat Exhibition of Paris, 1889, it was seen that the Parisian out of proportion to their general character. builders had suddenly gone in the opposite direction, the The Sedan-chair, so fashionable a century ago (Fig. 5), world of fashion in carriages was taken by surprise. was also represented by some beautifully decorated From being built upon easy, flowing, graceful lines, it was seen, with some revulsion of feeling, that these were examples of that period. It is a portable chair or covered to be displaced by the deep, full-bodied Victoria, Brougham, vehicle, with side-windows and entrance through hinged and Landau. Only by slow degrees did this characteristic doorway at the front. It is borne on poles by two men. find acceptance with English connoisseurs, and then only It took its name from the town of Sedan in France, where it was first used, and was introduced into England by