Update about blog

Come on over to my other blog, Alchemy of Clay and Living in Black Mountain NC, where the scenery and my ceramic arts life are combined. I've moved some personal blog posts, (as well as those that are about my ancestors) back here.

Thursday, October 9, 2014

Coaches, drivers, wagons etc.

 I'm going to look at the industries affected by wagons, coaches and horses.  Come over to see what others have come up with on this theme at Sepia Saturday HERE.

I posted a few weeks ago about the cars, Studebakers, in my life...a car that was actually originally built by former-wagon makers, the family of Studebakers, who immigrated to the US from the Netherlands.

Here's that post, in case you wanted to see how this family was able to adapt their skills to the new motorized transportation of the twentieth century.  I find it interesting that these Dutch men started with wagons, then electric cars, then gasoline cars.

My mind goes to other trades that changed as civilization moved away from horse drawn chariots, carriages and wagons.

 How about care for the many horses that had been the main means of transport?  That meant private and town stables, which provided bedding and food for the horses.  How about the many farriers, who provided those many horse-shoes? 
from Wikipedia

And the wheelwrights for those many wood wheels?  And maybe there weren't specific large animal vets, but I dare say those who knew about horses were well paid for their care.

Yes there are a few of each of these industries still in existence, either for leisure riders or those who race horses, or provide other recreation or competitions.

And yet the one trade that definitely took a hit as automobiles took over transportation is that of buggy whip making.

Wikepedia says:
A buggy whip is a horsewhip with a long stiff shaft and a relatively short lash used for driving a horse harnessed to a buggy or other small open carriage. A coachwhip, usually provided with a long lash, is used in driving a coach with horses in front of other horses. Though similar whips are still manufactured for limited purposes, the buggy whip industry as a major economic entity ceased to exist with the introduction of the automobile, and is cited in economics and marketing as an example of an industry ceasing to exist because its market niche, and the need for its product, disappears.

I also considered the wagons, which are famously attributed to American's moving their entire families west.  Check out this post here.

See you next week, fellow Sepians!


La Nightingail said...

It wasn't hard to think of a modern day equivalent of something no longer needed because of improvements to, or replacement of something basic to our modern day lives - the telephone booth, and telephone operators. Very few of the former remain & there are far fewer of the latter - all because of cell phones! Or how about typewriter manufacturers? When I first went to work I was classified as a "clerk-typist". I don't think the term even exists anymore.

Kristin said...

I wonder if buggy whip makers were able to change over to something that was still being made and what it was.

Helen Bauch McHargue said...

Interesting approach to the prompt. Stenographers...there's a dinosaur. My husband still says, "This is a long distance call!" as if the comment will convey urgency. I chuckle in the background.

Wendy said...

Quite thought-provoking. Advances in technology make a lot of things obsolete. In college my husband had to take a key-punch operations class for his degree; for my teaching degree I had to take a course that taught how to use a film projector, overhead projector, movie projector, and mimeograph machine.

Little Nell said...

A thoughtful and unusual take on this week’s theme. We often mourn the loss of a particular industry but do not always think beyond to how it is connected to others.

Postcardy said...

Horse-drawn vehicles seem so romantic now, but they must have been uncomfortable and dirty when they were a necessity.

Jo Featherston said...

Yes, my great grandfather realised the writing was on the wall and that his carting business once he had to compete with the 'iron horse' as he called the train. It hasn't put modern day road hauliers out of business though, and what we call semi-trailers still rule our country roads.

Bob Scotney said...

Our family were harness makers in the past before the cars and tractors took over from the horse. My old home has been renamed Saddlers Cottage by the present owners.

Alex Daw said...

I agree... a really thoughtful post...I heard someone on the radio the other day trying to describe what a telex machine was to the young journo interviewing her. Made me feel like a dinosaur. I wonder if the whip makers diversified into belts and other leather sundries like hat trims.

Karen S. said...

Such a fun post from days gone past!