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2020-12-19 18:21:09
Patent Safe Coach The Invention of Mr Henry Matthews', of Gretton Place, East [Bethnal Green]
[London: 1818]. Broadside, woodengraved headpiece and three small cuts of the carriage and its points of gravity; manuscript amendments, presumably by Matthews'; mounted on linen, some minor tears at folds. The heyday of coaching brought with it a consequential increase in accidents. Matthews' idea was to increase the wheelbase, have smaller wheels, and take the passengers off the top of the carriage and place them in an open area behind the coachman. Luggage that was often placed on the top or back of the couch was removed to an area between the wheel axels. All these ideas lowered the stagecoaches centre of gravity 'so that all the weight is much nearer, and more command of the horses.' Through modigiations he coach was of a much lighter construaction and even when when fully laden it could afford one side to lift by 12 inches before reaching it's tipping point. Between 1818 and 1821 all manner of patents where being introduced to improve the safety of coach travel. The very words 'Safe' and 'Safety' being applied to some quite dangerous ideas that caused the words meaning when applied to caoch travel too soon be degraded. Matthews' patent was used for a while on the London to Brighton run but his terms, originally set at £10 to be allowed to build a coach and the owners 'bound to take a halfpenny per mile more of those who occupy the front seat outside; 20 per cent. of which halfpenny will be his own, the remainder the Patentee's property.' The statement here has been crossed through by Matthews who has inserted in manuscript that he would now accept 'a licence to run a … [Click Below for Full Description]
Bookseller: Pickering & Chatto [London, United Kingdom]
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