Tuesday, November 3, 2009

More on Lord Dunmore's Carriage

Tuesday, November 3, 2009
Susan reports:

More from the TNHG trip to Colonial Williamsburg, specifically having to do with Lord Dunmore's carriage.  Here are several more photos that will explain what a thousand words might not.  

This is a close-up of the latch on the carriage door, showing how in fact it does open only from the outside. It's a beautiful, substantial bit of brass, kept bright by His Lordship's staff.  It turns to open, and for security's sake, it takes considerable muscle to operate.  Yes, one could reach from the window to open it from the inside, but it wouldn't be easy.  In this photo, you can see (or rather, can't see) how exquisitely the coach is constructed; the opening of the door is to the left of the latch, barely visible beside the gilded moulding.

Here's another photo of the side of the door, showing the latch's locking mechanism.  You can also see the thickness of the door itself, wide enough to support the channel into which the door's glass window (not in place here) can be lowered.

Because of Blogger's limitations, the rest of these pictures appear in the next blog.  Sorry for the inconvenience!


News From the Holmestead said...

Excellent photos! Very useful for the researcher. These are the kinds of photos a writer finds invaluable--nitty gritty details that help you understand how things looked and how they worked. Thank you for the details and pictures!

Those steps don't look like they would accommodate a very heavy person. I see why a footman was needed to lend a sturdy arm as you descended!

Was there any sort of grab bar (like some modern trucks have) to assist a person getting into a carriage? It seems like that would have been very useful, since the carriages were so tall.

You two should consider doing a workshop on all this! If I lived near you, I'd take that workshop in a heartbeat. ~Sherrie Holmes

Isabella Bradford/Susan Holloway Scott said...

Thank YOU, Sherrie, for the compliments! As flattering as it is to think we could give a workshop, I think Loretta would agree with me that we'd rather bow before the real experts we've met in CW. In other words, it's the old case of the more you learn, the more you realize how little you know!

As for the grab bar -- nope, there wasn't anything remotely like that. Which is not to say that some carrriages didn't have one, but these here (there are a half-dozen or so in the collection) don't seem to be equipped with any "helpers." I'm guessing that it's up the footman to help hoist passengers aboard. *g*

Anonymous said...

Just another reason why the footmen had to be muscle-y!

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