Post-chaise, late 18th century.
© Science Museum / Science & Society Picture Library
Model. This type of vehicle was hired by wealthy people as a speedier and more comfortable alternative to the stagecoach. They seated two pasengers, were drawn by four horses, and were driven postillion, meaning there was no coachman and the carriage was driven by a rider mounted on the leading nearside horse. For long distances, horses were driven in relays. The changing of horses took place at establishments known as 'posts', from which the carriage takes the first part of its name. Depending on the road conditions, post-chaises could travel at speeds of up to 10 miles per hour. The carriages used were predominantly gentlemen's discarded travelling chariots painted yellow, earning them their popular name of 'yellow bounders'.