Carriages in the 19th century

Carriages were the one of the main uses of transport in the 19th century. The brougham carriage was the first carriage ever invented in the late 1830’s. Different types of carriages were invented in the later years that accommodated for certain weather, and some could hold more people than others could. Some carriages even had seats that could fold down to seat small children. These carriages were pulled by horses and assisted by men that helped lead the horses. In the early 19th century, the Barouche carriage was known as the fancy carriage and it was a four wheeled carriage that had two inside seats facing each other. Later in the 19th century the Brougham carriage turned into the fanciest carriage because of its quality for certain weather conditions. The names of other carriages were berlin, curricle, gig, landau, phaeton, victoria. The carriage and its details differed depending on what social class people were in. Wealthy people often had carriages that were enclosed and had specific details like curtains on the windows, detail in the wood of the carriage, and more space inside to fit multiple people. The lower to middle class community did not have the luxuries of the carriages like the rich people did, these less fortunate people had a carriage that would be open with no enclosed seating and would not do well in certain weather conditions because of poor maintenance. Carriages were used a lot in the middlemarch book as a means of transportation and were often seen in the show as well. 

I always wonder what it would be like for my family and I to have our own carriage. Since we only have one horse, I am never allowed to walk into town when my dad is at work because my mother says I must stay home and tend to the daily chores. I see the landlord’s carriage while they ride by our cottage and it looks lovely with the two big horses, the windows with blue curtains, and the men attending to the horses with their dress suites. Mother says the wealthy are selfish with their money and for people like us, they have no empathy for the conditions we live in. When the weather is bad it is quite hard to travel where we would like to because the horse does not do good in the rain. I feel bad for my mother because she feels as if we are a burden to this town with our poverty because we are not able to afford a carriage. Sometimes I hear her crying at night to my father begging him to find a better job. If I were to ever own a carriage I would wear my best dress and go all around the town while admiring the view of the beautiful mansions on the comfiest seats a carriage could ever have. Hopefully one day while I am older I can marry a rich man and he will take me in his carriage to wherever I please. 

Works Cited: 

Geri Walton. “Brougham Carriages: A Popular Carriage of the 1800s.” Geri Walton, 27 Sept. 2019,

Transportation in the 19th Century,

Associated Place(s)

Event date:

1830 to 1900

Parent Chronology: