All posts by Kathleen

Does a Brougham have a windshield?

Q) I’m doing a bit of research regarding the Brougham carriage and am wondering if you could answer a question for me? How would passengers get the attention of the driver in an enclosed Brougham? Would they knock on the glass or was there some mechanism built in? And is the glass separating the passenger from the driver called a windshield?

A) There were the following different ways fo comunicating with the driver from inside a Brougham:

1) A cord passed through a hole in the framework of the front window and tied round the left arm of the driver.

2) A flexible “speaking” tube; the passenger could blow int this tube to sound a whistle. The driver then could take out the whistle and put the tube to his ear.

3) A similar tube arrangement which could be used with a code, e.g., take the left turn; two whistles: right turn; three whistles: stop.

The front glass would not be called a windshield: it would simply be called a front glass.

– Tom Ryder

Point of Connection Between Sleigh and Shafts

Q. Is there any rule for placing the connection between the shafts and the sleigh? If so, please illustrate as plainly and briefly as possible.

A. The accompanying outline sketch plainly illustrates the answer to the above question. To determine the line of draft or traction, we must first find the center of gravity between the point of traction and extreme resistance. These are shown in the drawing.

D is the point of traction
B is the point of extreme resistance
A is the base line and bottom of runner
C is the front of the runner
E is top of the sleigh bottom

From the earth to the bottom of the tug-strap bearing, or bottom of the shaft at that point resting in the tug-strap, for the average horse, is about forty-two inches, or ranges from forty inches to forty-four inches. We take forty-two inches as the mean average, which is at D. The tug-strap on the average horse, in a majority of cases, is about eighty inches from the point of connection with the vehicle. Having located these two distances, draw a line from D to B, and obtain the line of connection C.

For economical purposes, the connection is usually, in this and most countries, made in front of the front posts, as at F – that is, for light sleighs or cutters. With the heavy and larger grades it is customary to put the jacks or connection on the nose-plates.

In Russia and Asiatic countries it is customary to make the connection with the runners only, using a long round pole for the purpose. The same custom prevailed in this country, with the purpose. The same custom prevailed in this country, with the freight sleighs and heavy sleighs, until about 1838.

From The Hub, June 1893
Also available in Horse Drawn Sleighs by Susan Green

Your ticket to the 2019 CAA Learning Weekend!

Join the CAA in Sarasota, Florida from January 24th – 26th for the 2019 CAA Learning Weekend!

Our Thursday speakers include Desiree Herrmann and Jill Ryder along with a ‘Celebration Party’ for the World Equestrian Games Gold Medal Winners. Misdee Wrigley Miller is our key speaker on Friday before we depart for Prospect Stable where we’ll see John Cuneo Jr.’s carriage collection and a horse ‘exhibit’ by Desiree Herrmann; Bob Longstaff will discuss appropriate turnout using Cuneo vehicles. Ken Wheeling, Wendy Ying and Carl Casper will speak on a range of topics on Saturday morning before we visit The Ringling (Museum of Art, Circus Museum, etc.).

Additional information and registration forms are available here.

You can also purchase a ticket online through the CAA Bookstore at

Added bonus – the weather in Florida averages 70 degrees in late January!