At the beginning of Victoria's reign, people could wave at puffing steam trains on the railways. By the 1860s, they rode bicycles, watched airships, and talked excitedly of the latest huge iron steamships. In the 1890s they could travel by motor car.
in Victorian Times
At the beginning of Queen Victoria’s reign, most people travelled by road, either on horseback, in horse-drawn vehicles or on foot. There were no cars or aeroplanes. Instead stagecoaches were used for long-distance travel between major towns. Wealthier people could afford to buy their own horse-drawn carriages. In towns people travelled in horse-drawn buses.
Tonbridge High Street
The Brougham (pronounced "broom" or "brohm") was a popular vehicle for everyday use. It was a light, four-wheeled carriage drawn by one horse.
The Brougham was named after the designer, Lord Brougham, an English statesman in 1839, it was popular in the Victorian age among both aristocrats and the middle classes.
The Phaeton (pronounced "fay-ton") was a light four-wheeled open carriage, drawn by a pair of horses. It was popular with the ladies who would use it to drive through the parks.
The Phaeton is named after the son of the Greek sun-god Helios ( Phaethõn) who was famous for his bad driving of the sun chariot.
The Landau carriage is originally named after a German town where it was first made. In Victorian days, a landau was something of a status symbol, the mark of a successful man. In 1890 the carriage would cost around £220.
The Landua carriage can either be used as a open or closed carriage by adjusting its folding top.
In the Country
Most people living in the country travelled in open vehicles, such as wagons and drays. These were larger and heavier than carriages, and thus slower.
Wagons were used for carrying people as well as goods and animals.
The first car
Towards the end of the Victorian period the Horseless carriage (motor car) started appearing on roads.
The very first petrol driven "horseless carriage" appeared in 1865 however, these first cars were rarely seen until the 1880s and 1890s. Only the very wealthy could afford to buy them.
In 1896 the UK's first speeding fine was handed to a Mr Walter Arnold of East Peckham, Kent, who was fined one shilling for speeding at eight miles an hour in a two mile an hour zone in Paddock Wood, in his Karl Benz powered car. Mr Arnold was caught by a policeman who had given chase on his bicycle!