History of carriages

3d visualization of a carriage drawing of a carriage forged carriage

Today, seeing an equestrian type of vehicle does not happen very often, and if we do, a feeling of admiration and joy always arises. The horse is a noble animal that requires special treatment and respect.

And in a harness with a beautiful carriage, he becomes not just a participant in traffic, but a real king of the roads. Every now and then a car stops in front of him and honks its horn nervously. And in the end, he slowly follows him until the carriage turns where it needs to go.

If 100 years ago the horse-drawn type of vehicle was one of the most common, today it has become a luxury. And only rich and wealthy people can afford it. But on the other hand, producing a carriage and purchasing a young horse will cost much less than purchasing a new car.

Therefore, a horse-drawn vehicle is perhaps the cheapest both to operate and to purchase. But it comes with many challenges, such as the natural processes of an animal that needs to be looked after and fed regularly. It is necessary to organize a full-fledged stable for him. All this will require decent material costs and time. Also, you can’t leave it near the entrance overnight, or park it for long-term storage. Therefore, it is better to let a horse in harness remain a luxury.

a carriage with horses as a permanent means of transportation , then for organizing a wedding it will be an ideal solution. The young couple will be absolutely delighted when a carriage with a real coachman at its head approaches them.

Today it is quite difficult to find a company or company that can hire a carriage for a wedding . Therefore, we hasten to offer our services to this exquisite vehicle. order any type of from us

Carriage arrangement

Although the horse-drawn mode of transport has lost its former glory, humanity has not forgotten about its varieties, of which there are quite a lot, like cars. 100 years ago it was the only mode of transport and it was developed based on the needs that arose.

In its general structure, the carriage consisted of a closed body, which was mounted on special springs to soften vibration during fast and intense driving on uneven surfaces. And the goats are part of the carriage on which the cab driver was located - the coachman. They were located high, making it easy to control and maneuver.

And in case of an unforeseen situation, it is easy to get on your horse to stop him. This position did not protect him from bad weather. In some types of carriages, a goat was not installed, but there was a so-called irradiation. It was a bench on the edge of the side of the carriage.

The body had windows around the perimeter, which made it easy to communicate with the coachman and accompanying personnel. There were spots at the back of the body; on special occasions, the so-called haiduk (lackeys) stood on them. Today you can order a carriage for any celebration with the whole set, and you will feel simply unsurpassed.

The carriages varied in weight and dimensions. A large, four-seater carriage was harnessed by three horses, a light one - by a pair.

Types of carriages

Previously, carriages were the only means of transport, so they were created for both short trips and long journeys. Depending on this, they should be divided into the following types of carriages :

  • sleeping;
  • sessile.

A traveling carriage in which you could sleep lying down was called a dormez, which translated from French means sleeping. They had a large and spacious interior and were equipped with sleeping places. The carriage had a vazhi - a special box for things, and a hump at the back - for luggage. This horse-drawn vehicle was built with six horses; today, of course, they are not available for rent.

But for the sake of a wedding celebration, it is quite possible to order a female company for a walk. This carriage can accommodate up to 4 passengers, which makes it possible to organize mass walks over long distances. Inside, it was predominantly decorated with leather, both on the walls and on the seats, which gave it luxury and richness.

Strollers were previously used to travel short distances. This is the same carriage, only without the top. Here's a convertible compared to cars. The carriage was light in weight, so it was carried by two or one horse.

Today, if a carriage with two horses is in demand for wedding celebrations, then strollers are widely used at all kinds of events. They can comfortably seat two people and a rider. They are very convenient for excursions around the park or walks around the square.

The following types of carriages are no longer in demand today, but they used to be very popular:

  • Tarantas was the most durable type of carriage that was used to travel around the city in the old days. A modern analogy would be a taxi. The tarantas was distinguished by increased wear resistance and load-carrying capacity, so it had a rough appearance. Its body was located on two long bars, which were a kind of shock absorbers. At the same time, they had sufficient strength to withstand heavy weight. They were called yeast. Also, this type of stroller was called dolgush because of its length. Over time, the tarantass became more reliable and was equipped with a pair of springs.
  • A britzka is one of the common types of horse-drawn vehicles that were widely used at that time. They had the same reliability as the tarantass, but at the same time had smaller overall dimensions. This makes it more passable and maneuverable. The britzka, like the tarantass, could be used for long journeys. It was equipped with a convertible top, which could be made of wicker or leather. The advantage of the chaise was that the booth stood solely on springs.
  • A droshky is a fairly primitive carriage, made structurally from a pair of beams that connect both wheel axles. Boards were laid on them, on which the driver and passengers sat. The cart got its name because of the same long beams.
  • Racetracks are predominantly an urban type of vehicle. These were double strollers that were used for short trips. They were harnessed to one horse, which made them maneuverable and easy to control.
  • The cab or cab driver's droshky was widespread back in the USSR in the 1940s. They were the same droshky with a covered, rising top and on springs.
  • Caliber is one of the simplest strollers, which was widely used among peasants. Structurally, they were a board on which passengers and a cab driver sat. Men sat astride a horse, and women and children sat on the side. The board lay on both axles, to which round springs were attached on four sides. This type of horse-drawn transport had a second name - droshky. At that time, there were both double and single calibers. At the same time, the single-seater was called giatara. It was due to the similarity of the instruments in the design of the seats.
  • A kibitka, as a variant of a horse-drawn vehicle, was the name given to all semi-covered carts. There was a hole in the front. This name was mainly used to name a covered body. Nomadic tribes lived in such tents. Any canvas material was used as a covering: matting, fabric, lyuba or leather, which was stretched over arches of flexible wood.
  • Ruler is one of the names of the previously described dolgus. This transport had the same structure, only the board was wider than usual. On it, passengers sat with their backs to each other. It was the rulers that began to be used as multi-seat public transport, and were equipped with a roof made of fabric, matting or something else.

Vintage carriages

In ancient times, the first methods of riding and transporting horses other than riding horses were drags made of two long poles or the tops of young trees, tied on both sides to a collar or saddle interception and connected to each other by flexible belts or rigid wooden ties. It is known that in Rus', even after the invention of the wheel, for a long time the most preferred method of riding was in a sleigh. The sled sledges that have survived to this day still resemble such drags, only they now have separate independent runners, a front crossbar - a “bed”, and pillars that connect the runners with the upper legs that limit the working space of the sleigh. In ancient Russian chronicles, as well as in travel notes of foreigners traveling around Rus', it is noted that among the high hierarchs of the church, riding in a sleigh or sleigh cart, even in the summer, as well as during funeral and wedding ceremonies, was considered more status than riding on wheels. And when driving on damp and swampy off-road roads or small forests, this method of transportation offered considerable advantages compared to driving on wheeled carriages. The first carts for transporting people were a box on two long runners, curved at the front and sometimes at the back, without windows, doors, or a separate place for the coachman - podluchka. Passengers climbed into them through the front or side opening, which was covered with a canopy. When driving in winter, the obligatory means of insulation were cloth, and more often fur cavities covering the legs, and sometimes the entire body up to the eyes. However, Peter the Great's road sleigh already had some "conveniences" in the form of a driver's cover, a travel chest that was attached to the back, and mica windows with bindings.

You can easily imagine the convenience and maneuverability of such a sled. If in the wide steppe their turning radius was not limited by anything, then on a city street or on a crooked forest path turning them was difficult and required a lot of effort, time, and ability to handle horses.

The first horse-drawn carriages, especially those intended for long journeys, such as rattles, rydvans or dormezes (suitable for sleeping on the road), due to the length and multi-horse harness (in pairs with four or six), were extremely clumsy, and on narrow, crooked urban On the streets, in order to turn, they had to carry their rear end on their hands in the direction opposite to the direction of the turn. That is why the hefty guides on the backs were especially valued, which were often needed not so much for protection, but as draft force when pulling out a carriage stuck on the way. If necessary, they took hold of the wooden spokes of huge wheels and turned them to pull the crew out of potholes or mud.

The need to fit into complex turns led to the creation of a device for turning along a smaller radius, for which in Europe small separate front runners, a quarter of the length of the main ones, were used on sleds, which could be rotated around the front axle or a separate circle, regardless of the main ones. Later, such a device was transferred to carriages, which, to facilitate turning, began to use front wheels of a smaller diameter than the rear ones, and which could turn independently of the carriage itself on a device somewhat similar to the front axle of a modern car.

Shock absorption devices deserve special mention. When driving on dirt roads, and then on end roads (when pieces of wood cut across the trunk were dug into the roadbed close to each other and at approximately the same level) or cobblestone pavements, the shaking was incredible. To reduce it, at first they came up with the idea of ​​attaching the carriage body not directly to the wheels or runners, but hanging it either on strong belts, which absorbed and damped unwanted vibrations of the body, or on chains. It is clear that such belts either got wet or dried out when driving, and without lubrication they quickly lost their elastic properties and burst. Therefore, it would be desirable to have a set of such belts to replace broken ones. Then forge-made shock absorbers were invented, which were spirals or springs that worked thanks to the elastic properties of the metal, which were often combined with belt suspensions. Much later, spring shock absorbers appeared, consisting of a set of spring sheets and similar in design to modern automobile ones. Technical innovations also include braking devices, necessary for fast “accelerating” driving, when the health and life of passengers depended on the crew’s quick stop. The same brake linings (“shoes”) on wheels that are still used to this day were used as such devices, only they moved from the outer rim of the wheel, first to the inner surface of the wheel disk, and then to special brake discs rigidly connected to the axle wheels.

There was a huge difference both between the special coronation carriages and those used in everyday palace use, as well as between the carriages of noble riders and those means of transportation used by other ordinary people. The difference was not only in the methods of decoration and finishing, but also in what technical innovations and how quickly they began to be used. As a rule, soon after the invention or improvement of a particular carriage, they were used in horse-drawn carriages to transport members of the court, and somewhat later - in the carts of other high-ranking riders.

Already from the very first carts, a division of their carpentry structure was born into “akhtyrka” or made from boards in the form of a box and “flesh”, that is, built using a frame structure with inserted panels. As the strength requirements of these vehicles increased, increasingly sophisticated connections were used, often using metal through-bolts. Metal for making axles for carriages, carts and carts replaced oak axles that quickly wore out from friction.

Wheelwrights constituted a very special caste and were considered almost aristocrats among the masters of carriage making.

There is indirect information that during the trip of Empress Catherine II to the lands of Taurida, newly acquired by Russia, in 1787, her train, which consisted of more than a hundred crews and a huge herd of 600 replacement horses, also included a traveling blacksmith’s workshop with anvils, a supply of tools, coal and iron, pre-forged into strips and rods, as well as a master carpenter.

It was possible to build a strong and reliable wheel only with a skillful combination of knowledge and skill in several types of work: turning - for making a hub and turning the wooden base of the wheel, carpentry - for creating spokes and a rim, complex and balanced assembly of rims together, when inserting segments was required one into the other using a straight tenon or dovetail, connecting the spokes and rim parts with a bushing, covering the hub on each side with small steel rims; blacksmith - when "tiring" - covering the rim with an iron tire. Depending on the size of the wheel, its rim was assembled from six, eight or twelve identical segments. The construction of wheels for gun carriages had to be taken just as seriously. For lightweight strollers, all-iron blacksmith wheels were sometimes used, and only towards the end of the 19th century. Carriages appeared on the streets and roads on “dutiks” - wheels with rubber pneumatic tires.

How were the very first lathes used by domestic wheelwrights constructed? A horizontal flexible and durable pole was attached at one end to the ceiling of the workshop. A long cord was tied to its free end, which was wrapped in two or three turns around a bushing installed in the centers on the frame, and a blank for the hub was stuffed onto it. A special footrest with a pedal was attached to hinges under the master turner’s foot. When you press it, the cord pulled the hub, forcing it to make two or three idle revolutions, while the pole bent and became like a stretched bow. When the pedal was released, the flexible pole tried to straighten and pulled the cord, forcing the hub to make the same two or three revolutions, but in the opposite, working direction, during which the master carried out turning, leaning the long chisel on a tool rest on the bed. To completely turn the hub, approximately twenty to thirty such working cycles were enough (see figure below) .

When a wheel with a wooden bushing rotated along an iron axis, friction and mutual wear of these two parts were of particular importance, so it was necessary to liberally use lubricant, which used various materials, from tar to animal fat. When harnessed by a pair, four or six, both in Russia and in Europe, a drawbar was used - a long beam, often upholstered in leather or metal, with a number of rings and hooks driven into it, which was hinged to the front of the carriage, which allowed it to turn relative to the carriage. Horse clamps were attached to the timber with flexible ligaments. However, the length of the timber, already up to 9-10 m long when harnessed by six horses, limited the maneuverability of such a carriage, and a harness with a large number of horses required soft or flexible harness with the help of a mass of light clamps, lines, reins and belts.

Managing a multi-horse team, numbering up to twelve horses or up to six pairs in a train (the head of the rear one to the tail of the front horse), is an extremely difficult matter. You can imagine in the hands of one coachman twelve pairs of reins, which must be controlled differently, conveying different orders to each of the horses in the team, and which must not be confused with each other, so as not to interfere with the progress of the team, falling under the horses’ feet. For these purposes, they began to attach special rings on high stems to the horses’ croups, through which the reins leading to the front horses were passed, which prevented them from getting tangled. In addition, a rider or postilion began to be placed on one of the front horses, who directly controlled the direction and speed of travel. Usually, in order not to overload the horses, a boy or a man of small stature and weight acted as a postilion. The profession was unusually dangerous, because during long trips, a postilion, with a monotonous and long ride, could fall asleep from fatigue and fall under the horses' hooves. During the coronation celebrations, the ride, in accordance with the ceremonial, was quite slow, therefore, instead of the coachman, there were walkers on the sides of the train, who were supposed to ensure the proper solemnity, blow the horn, and the coachmen walked next to the front horses, leading them on the reins. Events of the turbulent 20th century. greatly changed the appearance of both Europe and Russia, but if we look at the pre-revolutionary history of the Russian imperial house of the Romanovs, the British Windsors close to them by blood, as well as the current royal courts of Sweden, Norway, Belgium, Denmark, Spain, the Netherlands, Monaco, Liechtenstein, Luxembourg and the Holy See (Vatican), one can see approximately the same type of traditions, similar ways of maintaining the prestige of the supreme power, asserting its “divine origin.”

Subjects observe and preserve the mode of government characteristic only of these countries, while the members of the royal families themselves and their entourage retain various external signs of their power, along with the complex symbols and attributes that accompany them. Among the attributes of demonstrating power, wealth and influence are ceremonial “rides” - carriages for ceremonies associated with the need to move their high owners.

Of course, even the most traditional royal courts today often use modern luxury cars, but in a number of ceremonies, preference is still given to luxurious equestrian rides, which gives them a very special status, thereby emphasizing their venerable age, immutability, stability and continuity of traditions that are interpreted as features related to the stability of the monarchy itself. The bulk of the court horse-drawn carriages of Russia, which lost the monarchical method of government almost 100 years ago, are preserved in two collections: the Moscow Armory Chamber (17 units) and the St. Petersburg Hermitage (about 40 units), where they are distributed mainly by historical periods. Partly these are carriages imported from abroad, but it is known that already from the 17th century. on the site of the modern Armory Chamber there were workshops of the Stables Prikaz with their own workshops, which a century earlier included three chambers - “saddle, sleigh and carriage”, and in the Meshchanskaya Sloboda carriage makers from the then western provinces of Rus' settled: Orsha, Mogilev, Vitebsk, Polotsk and Smolensk. Since the 1640s Along with foreign models, Russian-made carriages are increasingly appearing in palace use, although at first they retain traces of the influence of Western traditions.

The oldest example of a palace exit from the Moscow collection is a rattler of English work, presented in 1604 by King James I to Tsar Boris Godunov. This rattletrap is distinguished by the absence of windows and doors, replaced by openings with velvet curtains, as well as springs, a trestle, heels and a turning device. The body is attached to belts that act as shock absorbers. The front and rear sides of the body are decorated with multi-figure battle scenes made using the technique of painted and gilded carved oak relief, while its sides are painted with picturesque landscapes and hunting scenes. The front of the carriage bears profusely carved gilt sculpture in the form of allegorical figures, as well as finely hammered gilded iron parts. Obviously, this vehicle served as a prototype for the creation of some Russian crews.

In confirmation of the fact that their own Moscow masters already in the 17th century. they worked no worse than those overseas, and a large four-seater rattler, made in the workshops of the Kremlin’s Stable Order in the 1640s, is also on display. and belonged to the boyar Nikita Romanov. It also lacks the same details as Boris Godunov’s rattletrap, but already has mica windows and low doors with glass. The decoration of the mica windows is made in the form of stars and double-headed eagles, and the doors and body are decorated in the form of a pattern of squares of gilded copper nails with wide heads. The front and rear walls of the body are decorated with overlays with floral patterns made of milled gilded iron. Another decoration of the collection of the Armory Chamber, where it came from St. Petersburg, can be called a two-seater, completely gilded carriage of Empress Elizabeth Petrovna made in Vienna. The carriage has three plate glass windows (two on the sides and one in the front), framed with large relief carvings, like its entire body, as well as the spokes and wheel hubs. The top of the turntable under the radiator and the space above the rear wheels are richly decorated with carved shells, scrolls and a round sculpture of full profile, and on the doors there are Baroque bas-relief images of shields and military armor. Decorative carved vases and a copper crown with floral patterns will be placed on the roof of the carriage. The first Court and Stable Museum in Russia was founded in St. Petersburg by Alexander II in 1860. Its basis was a collection of working carriages and carriages that served the imperial family. Among other exhibits, several sedan chairs have been preserved - means of transportation that are not very typical for Russia, but were necessary on special occasions. Thus, it was needed for the wife of Alexander II, Empress Maria Alexandrovna, who was in poor health. The sedan chair is a small cabin the size of a telephone booth with a seat inside, which was carried by fast porters on special poles inserted into the bottom. By the time of its foundation, the museum consisted of 24 different carriages, and in its best times its collection consisted of up to 40 carriages and carriages. For the coronation of Alexander II, 10 identical carriages were specially ordered for members of the imperial family and courtiers of the highest rank.

Since the foundation of the museum, its collection has kept a small lightweight stroller, specially built for the children of Alexander II. It is a small carriage of modest dark color, devoid of any frills or decorations, designed for two or four passengers of no more than 10 years of age. The most amazing feature of this carriage is the excellent blacksmith work performed by the hand of an outstanding craftsman. It is unknown which children of the emperor used this stroller, since only in the marriage of Alexander II with Maria Fedorovna eight children were born (the eldest Alexandra died at the age of 8), and from his relationship with Princess Dolgorukova, Alexander II had four more children. It is possible that they all used this stroller at a certain age.

Among the many carriages there is a gift to Catherine II from P. I. Betsky (the illegitimate son of Field Marshal Prince I. Yu. Trubetskoy) - a light covered pleasure carriage “vis-a-vis”, in which two passengers sat not next to each other, side by side -side, and facing one another. The most famous example of the entire collection is the large coronation carriage, first used during the coronation of Empress Catherine I and specially ordered for this purpose by Peter the Great in Paris at the manufactory of tapestries and trellises (woven lint-free carpets with complex thematic patterns). Thanks to its good preservation and proper care, it was used as the main one at the coronation of both Paul I and Catherine II, as well as at the coronation celebrations of all subsequent Russian emperors up to the last - Nicholas II.

The carriage stands out among others for its rich carved decorations made of gilded wood, trimmed with “dug” (patterned) velvet, fringe and tassels with woven “golden” threads, the presence of a high carriage for two coachmen and space for two grooms at the back, as well as the most complex design of the most modern according to that time, the devices were a rotary mechanism and a screw brake device. The decoration of the carriage has decorations in the form of wooden carved gilded sculptures with allegorical figures.

It must be said that a sculpture of this kind was quite vulnerable, since when driving on an uneven surface it was subjected to multidirectional mechanical influences, changes in humidity and temperature, so they preferred to mount such a sculpture on a relatively high place, distant from the road surface, and attach it to the most stable base possible.

According to the director of the Hermitage M.B. Piotrovsky, this particular carriage during the Second World War suffered from a direct hit by an artillery shell on the storage building. Before perestroika there was no money for its restoration, and only around 1990 in the city of Memphis, USA, a group of enterprising people raised the necessary funds for this. The condition for financing the restoration work was the display of this carriage after restoration in a given city; then it was repeatedly exported to other cities in America and Europe.

This and other carriages from the Hermitage collection were repeatedly exhibited abroad, visiting those countries that had their own rich collections of court carriages. These include the most famous and most complete collection in Lisbon (Portugal). Even being the most ardent patriot, it is impossible not to recognize the primacy of this imperial collection both in the selection of samples, of which, according to the testimonies of visitors, there are several hundred, and in the beauty, luxury and richness of their decoration.

All ancient crews that were called upon to serve crowned heads were distinguished by an extremely high level of technical design and execution, using the most advanced designs and technologies of that time. Masters of various professions took part in their creation, among which the first and most important were two - blacksmiths and carpenters, as well as wheelwrights, architects, sculptors, foundries, woodcarvers, specialists in typesetting wood - marquetry, painters, saddlers, upholsterers who worked with leather and fabrics, and often jewelers. Thus, the coronation carriage of the Swedish king Charles XII (who was beaten by Peter the Great near Poltava, and St. Petersburg was founded on the lands that previously belonged to him), made by the French master Jean Beren (1696-1699) and decorated with Boulle marquetry, was a true masterpiece. The whole of it, including the floor panels, was decorated with a set of brass and a tortoise shell, which presented considerable difficulties during its operation, and then during restoration.

Another interesting story is connected with one of the famous carriages, created in 1793, which belonged to Catherine II and took part in the coronation of Nicholas II. In 1897, our last emperor ordered the court jeweler Carl Faberge to make an Easter egg with a miniature copy of this carriage inside in honor of the anniversary of the coronation as a gift to Empress Alexandra Feodorovna. Fortunately, it has survived and survived to this day; it was acquired relatively recently by V. F. Vekselberg. At some foreign exhibitions, this egg was displayed together with the original - the full-size carriage itself. Perhaps the saddest story is connected with a carriage from the Hermitage collection, which never became the object of restoration, damaged during the assassination attempt on Tsar-Liberator Alexander II on the embankment of the Catherine Canal in St. Petersburg on March 1 (13), 1881. When the terrorist Rysakov threw a bomb under the emperor's carriage, the armored bottom saved the royal rider, but when he got out of the carriage to inquire whether one of the members of his guard was seriously injured, the second terrorist, G'rinevitsky, threw another bomb. And the prediction of one fortune teller, said long before these events, came true that this emperor would “die in red boots.” The explosion of the second bomb tore off both of Alexander's legs, and he soon died from loss of blood.

In order not to end on such a sad note, let us remember that the great creations of masters do not disappear without a trace, but remain for centuries, setting an example of high service to eternal art.

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