Horseless carriage is a term for early automobiles; at the time it was common that carriages were pulled by animals, typically horses, but the automobiles were not. In 2010, the term was compared to other transitional terms, like cordless phone and wireless phone. These are cases in which a new technology is described by what it does not have, compared to an older technology.
Horseless carriages are noted for their similarity to horse-drawn carriages, but instead with some type of motor; some features of carriages include a high center of gravity and tiller-steering. In 1803, what has been said to be the first horseless carriage was demonstrated in London, Britain, as made by Richard Trevithick. This was a steam-powered conversion of a carriage, hence the moniker. In the 1820s, Goldsworthy Gurney built steam powered road vehicles. One survived to be on display at Glasgow Museum of Transport. In the United States, a four wheel steam carriage was made by Sylvester H. Roper in 1863. In the 1800s steam engines were the primary source of power for locomotives, ships, and fixed installations like industrial mills.
In 1893, Frank Duryea is reported to have made the first horseless carriage trip on U.S. roads in Springfield, Massachusetts, traveling approximately 600 yards before engine problems forced him to stop and make repairs. He went on to found the first U.S. car company with his brother, the Duryea Motor Wagon Company.
Horseless carriages from the turn of 19th to 20th century participated in a re-creation of the first London, UK auto-show in April 2016.
- History of steam road vehicles
- Horse and buggy
- Brass Era car