Gail Thornton
a pictorial archive of horse


The Buggy

People tend to think of the term "Buggy" as originating in America however the term is actually English in origin. Towards the end of the 18th century the term "buggy" was given to a phaeton or chaise which could only contain one person or seat.  However it is now more commonly given to the later American styles which were a simple box body vehicle mounted on four wheels which could seat one or two people.

This style of buggy was popular in the United States from the 1830's to the 1920's, possibly due its simplicity keeping the cost down. Towards the end of the 19th century they were produced on a large scale. They are still used today by members of the Amish religion living in Indiana, Ohio and Pennsylvania. This postcard is unused and has no indication where it is though with the style of house, with shutters and a verandah one may assume that it has not been taken in England. 

I am assuming that this buggy has been entered in to a show because of the ribbons around the neck of the horse. There is no date on the postcard as it has not been postally used though with the style of dress may be around the 1920's. The photograph was taken by Robt.T.Watson, 70 Anlaby Road, Hull. With the telegraph pole in the background the location is probably central Hull maybe even just off Anlaby Road near to where the photographer is based, though there were many country shows in and around the Hull area. 

Again there is nothing on the back of the postcard to identify where it is other than on the right hand top corner it says "Place Postage Stamp Here" which may be more foreign than English.  Someone has also written in pencil on the back either Nathborough or Northborough. However the background looks more American than English due to the shutters on the window.

This vehicle could be about to enter the Cottingham Horse Show as you can clearly see the horses mane has been braided as though about to enter a show, and the photographer is R.J.Cooper, 68 Clarendon Street, Hull.  This particular horse show was a popular yearly event very well attended.  What is also lovely about this real photographic postcard is that you can clearly see the horse assuming the" Parked" Stance making it less easy to walk off at a halt, which is important for those mounting and dismounting from the vehicle.