Horse Traction in Victorian London

Horse Traction in Victorian London chap 3 22/8/05 15:20 pm Page 38 Ralph Turvey London School of Economics ork horses have not received the attention they deserve in studies of Wtransport history. Nor did contemporary descriptions of life pay much attention to them, for, like the cars that line the streets today, they were too ubiquitous and too much a part of everyday experience to be worth writing about. Traffic congestion, the loud clatter of horseshoes and iron- rimmed wheels and the smell of manure did attract occasional mention, but most references to horses in newspapers and other periodicals related to saddle horses. This article is concerned with the economics of harness horses, what they were used for, how numerous they were and how much they cost to buy and to maintain. To the economist, and to most owners of the period, such horses were simply depreciable capital goods, used in fairly fixed proportions with stables, vehicles, harness, labour and provender (i.e. fodder and bedding) to transport goods and people and, incidentally, to produce manure. They had certain special characteristics, however. Being mobile, they had a ready sec- ond-hand market. Being animals, they required attention seven days a week, whether or not they were http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png The Journal of Transport History SAGE

Horse Traction in Victorian London

The Journal of Transport History, Volume 26 (2): 22 – Sep 1, 2005

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Publisher
SAGE
Copyright
© 2005 SAGE Publications
ISSN
0022-5266
eISSN
1759-3999
D.O.I.
10.7227/TJTH.26.2.3
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

chap 3 22/8/05 15:20 pm Page 38 Ralph Turvey London School of Economics ork horses have not received the attention they deserve in studies of Wtransport history. Nor did contemporary descriptions of life pay much attention to them, for, like the cars that line the streets today, they were too ubiquitous and too much a part of everyday experience to be worth writing about. Traffic congestion, the loud clatter of horseshoes and iron- rimmed wheels and the smell of manure did attract occasional mention, but most references to horses in newspapers and other periodicals related to saddle horses. This article is concerned with the economics of harness horses, what they were used for, how numerous they were and how much they cost to buy and to maintain. To the economist, and to most owners of the period, such horses were simply depreciable capital goods, used in fairly fixed proportions with stables, vehicles, harness, labour and provender (i.e. fodder and bedding) to transport goods and people and, incidentally, to produce manure. They had certain special characteristics, however. Being mobile, they had a ready sec- ond-hand market. Being animals, they required attention seven days a week, whether or not they were

Journal

The Journal of Transport HistorySAGE

Published: Sep 1, 2005

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