To follow up on our discussion of the carriages in Colonial Williamsburg, I'm adding two more photographs.
True, we were duly dazzled by Lord Dunmore's carriage. But I didn't want to leave you thinking everyone else was trudging through the dust on foot. There are several other carriages in the CW collection that are every bit as handsome as His Excellency's, even more so, depending on your taste. Here's another, left, that Loretta and I particularly like. The original's owner was a prosperous Virginian; rich indeed, but not titled. That bulging curved piece along the back is a sword case (opened from inside the carriage) for stashing your blade, ever-ready in case of an attack by a highwayman or other nefarious
person -- though the CW interpreters do admit that by the late 18th c., that little compartment is more for style than for actually carrying weapons. Pretty cool, though, and sounds so much more romantic than, say, a glove compartment.
I know most of us (including Loretta and me) regarded those folding carriage steps on Lord Dunmore's carriage with trepidation. I'm sure we had company among 18th c. ladies, too, who had to maneuver those steps in wide skirts and heeled shoes. But there was at least one alternative, to be found in the stable yard of the Governor's Palace (and at grand houses across England as well): these sturdy brick carriage steps, right, made to the exact height of a carriage's door. Over two hundred years later, you can still almost hear the sighs of relief from Her Ladyship and her daughters....