Credit: ©The Royal Society
    Image number: RS.16189

    Carriage design

    Thomas Blount (1599 - 1678) , Landowner
    Object type
    Archive reference number
    Manuscript page number
    height (Page): 301mm
    width (Page): 385mm
    Content object
    Side elevation of a design for a four-wheeled coupé-style carriage. The drawing shows the left side of the vehicle, with wheels being visible for that side only. The rear carriage wheel is larger, the front proportionally smaller: the latter has an external driver’s seat above it.

    Apparently for one or two passengers only, the compartment shown is narrow, with a single step. The decorative pencil work illustrating the passenger coach is rendered as a repeating circular motif. However the area to the front at passenger head height is shown as a grille, presumably to allow a view.

    Drawing from the papers of Robert Boyle.
    Headed: ‘The standards being placed on the blwark giving ease to the ryd & the hinder standards giving strength to the beams [?] or wings’
    Transcribed by the Making Visible project
    Object history
    Thomas Blount discussed carriage designs at meetings of the Royal Society during the period 1664-65. On 8 March 1665, ‘Col. Blount proposed the improvement of the French chariot, by taking off the burthen from the horse, by means of two small wheels before, retaining the long springy boards’ (Birch 2:22).

    By 29 March 1665, ‘Col. Blount brought in two models of chariots, one with two, the other with four wheels, of which he had tried the easiness of moving them by bullets upon different grounds; the particulars of which he gave in writing. His paper was ordered to be kept, and the operator was directed to make some models of chariots for trials with them' (Birch 2:27).

    Several Fellows of the Royal Society, notably Samuel Pepys and John Evelyn, left accounts of participating in Blount’s carriage demonstrations. Blount’s papers on a chariot trial (1665) and on the numbers of wheels for carriages (1667) are preserved as Royal Society Classified Papers: Cl.P/3i/020-21.
    Related fellows
    Thomas Blount (1599 - 1678) , Landowner
    Robert Boyle (1627 - 1691, British) , Natural philosopher
    Associated place
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