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History of horse-drawn vehicles

The word ‘carriage’ comes from the French word ‘cariage’ which means ‘to carry by vehicle’. Their is archaeological evidence of a horse-drawn chariot dating back to the 4th millenium BCE, although vehicles pulled by oxen and mules may well pre-date this.

Racing horse-drawn chariots came an Olympic sport in ancient Greece, although these vehicles were occasionally used for in-town transportation travelling by foot or mule was preferable due to the bumpy roads and lack of suspension.

The use of horse-drawn carriages was adopted and broadened by the Romans when they conquered mainland Greece in 146BC.

With the invention of suspension in the 16th century horse-drawn carriages became the transport of choice. Despite the opening of the railway and ‘tube’ carriage travel thrived well into the 20th century. It was only in the late 1800s and the introduction of motor vehicles that the ‘death knell’ sounded for horse-drawn vehicles

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