Closed carriage, mid 19th century.
© Science Museum / Science & Society Picture Library
Many different types of small relatively inexpensive closed carriage were in use by the profesional clases in Britain by the middle of the 19th century. This example, which was owned by an Exeter doctor, is unusual, both in terms of the shape of its body and the fact that the pasengers sit facing to the rear. The vehicle was driven by a coachman seated in a box seat at the front. The solid rubber tyres were probably fitted later, towards the end of the 19th century when they began to become popular. Pneumatic tyres were designed for carriages by Kingston Welch in 1892, but were never a succes due to their being prone to distributing mud, and the difficulties in repairing the frequently occurring punctures.