The History of the Carriage


The History of the Carriage told by Club Cavallo Italia

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The History of the Carriage. If you love carriages…

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The history of the Carriage. What is meant by Carriage

The term carriage generally means the means of transport pulled by animals and intended for the transport of people more widespread until the end of the nineteenth century, that is, until the appearance of the internal combustion engine while for the transport of things the means is the wagon or cart .

The History of the Carriage but now let’s talk briefly about us

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The History of the Carriage – Carriage Typologies

Among the various types we find for example, the sedan, a closed carriage used for representation, the coupe also closed but with only two seats, the open carriage to be used mainly in the summer, the landau with the soft top and the most luxurious phaeton, an open sports carriage with four large wheels.


A phaeton

Some of these terms are still used today in automobiles and confirm the historical continuity between carriages and automobiles because many companies specializing in their construction have continued the activity of car body shops.

It is also important to remember that the first technologies that we find on cars such as leaf spring suspensions have been tested and used on carriage.

The carriages, depending on the type of vehicle and its use, are usually towed by one or more horses and the driver, called the coachman, sits at the front or rear on a raised seat outside the passenger compartment.

The History of the Carriage – Background

The history is lost over the centuries because prehistoric populations, later Roman civilization and, to a lesser extent, even in the Middle Ages, used animal-drawn carts.

There are reports of vehicles similar to carriages in the documents that describe Beatrice d’Este’s triumphal entry into Naples in the 13th century on a carriage covered with a decorated cloth and Pope Gregory X’s entry to Milan in 1271 aboard a vehicle similar to a carriage closed by glass.

In 1300, a closed carriage was designed and built for the wedding of Galeazzo I Visconti and Beatrice d’Este.

From that moment the use of the carriage spreads but only in noble families and from the documents of the time it seems that Galeazzo Maria Sforza even owned twelve.

Until the mid-fifteenth century, Veronese was widespread, that is, a closed cart with a single crate resting on the axis.

In Hungary, in the same period, a rather innovative model was born with the bag suspended on the axle by belts and chains which takes the name of “chariot” derived from the name of the Hungarian town of Kocs where it was born.


A chariot

In the sixteenth century, the first spring suspension systems were tested, but for a number of reasons, including the rather rough roads, there were many drawbacks.

In France the carriage spread slowly and in 1500 there were only three specimens in Paris and in England at the end of the century this vehicle is still unknown.

In Italy owning a carriage becomes a real fashion and Milan launches a discriminatory law that denies the use to the bourgeois while in Rome Sixtus V limits its use due to the excessive noise that annoys citizens.

Despite these impositions, the use becomes increasingly sought after and also a reason for ostentation as shown by the gala carriage created for the wedding of Odoardo I Farnese which weighed about seven hundred kilos and could accommodate eight passengers on board.

In 1556, some cities such as Bologna and Mantua introduce an ordinance that limits the use of ornaments that was reaching very high levels.

In France the carriages are more slowly affirmed but becomes an indispensable vehicle in the times of Louis XV and Louis XVI when the coupé spreads, a real evolution of the old stretcher.

The baroque influence of the seventeenth century gave birth to carriages adorned with sculptures, a pomp that continued until the end of the century when the improvement of the streets favored the development of the travel carriage, both public and private, increasing the decorative simplicity.

The History of the Carriage
The First Carriage of the Modern Era

It seems that the first carriage of the modern era with the interior closed by glass doors was born in Berlin in 1670 from the invention of the Piedmontese architect Filippo Di Chiese who mainly deals with architectural creations.

In fact, he is court architect at Potsdam, near Berlin, in the service of Federigo Guglielmo of Brandenburg and, according to his wishes, Filippo Di Chiese makes this first model of carriage which, perhaps due to its proximity to the German capital, is called “Berlina”.

The history of the carriage

A berlina

Success began from this model and the carriage became the new bourgeois symbol spreading throughout Europe and the new world.

The city of Milan, towards the end of the seventeenth century, has the primacy of its diffusion with over 1,600 “Berlina” that forces the authorities to create the first road regulations.

The History of the Carriage – The Omnibus

In France, in 1662, the omnibus appears, a carriage pulled by one or two pairs of horses to transport a dozen people seated towards the direction of travel but its success is not immediate and it is necessary to wait for 1826 to Paris when, thanks to the changed social conditions, it becomes the most used way to transport people.

The history of the carriage

A ominibus

In Italy in 1835 the first omnibus service connecting Turin with Rivoli was inaugurated and in Rome the first omnibus line was opened in 1845 to connect Piazza Venezia to the Basilica of San Paolo.

At the end of the nineteenth century, motorized means of transport established themselves and the use of the carriage and animal-drawn vehicles slowly declined and today remains for tourism and for lovers of carriage.

the history of the carriage

Here we end the Story of the Carriage told by Club Cavallo Italia but…

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