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Sedan Chairs

A highlight of the sedan chair as a popular form of transport

Have you ever ridden in a sedan chair or rickshaw?

Why we don’t read more about the use of sedan chairs in historical romances is beyond me! For individual transport, they were the most popular choice, the fastest, and the cheapest, as well as the most versatile in locations it could reach.

Throughout London, there were sedan chair stations setup where someone could hire a chair, but often one could be found roaming the roads or stopping nearby. It was not uncommon for the wealthy to own their own chair, painted and decorated to their tastes.

Since the chairmen had the right of way, they need only give a warning shout of “Have a care!” or “By your leave, sir!” and pedestrians would give way, but then I’m sure they had just as much luck with that as we do today. My heart goes out to the person in the sedan chair when the chair tipped over.

If you’re familiar with rickshaws, the sedan chair could be considered its predecessor. The rickshaw did not appear until late 19th century.

Read more from Historical UK:

The Sedan Chair

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