Flying Machines & Glass Machines - 'God Willing'

  • 26 May 2023
  • Early Vehicles
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The public had to be persuaded that coaches were safe, and innkeepers advertised their new road carriages as 'flying machines', or if it had windows, as 'glass machines'. The first Worcester Flying Coach set off from Crown Inn, Broad Street, on June 11, 1733, for London. Passengers paid 25 shillings each, and were allowed to carry 14lbs. weight, all weight above at 2d.a lb. Later the coach charge was 30 shillings inside, and 15 shillings outside. This was very expensive, an inside seat costing five times a working man's wage of the day. If the comparison is placed against the average of £80 today, the single cost of a journey to London would be £400. Many coaches only undertook the journey during the summer months. In 1753, Thomas Shakrill, of the Bell Inn, Broad Street, announced a stage landau will start for Birmingham, 'Performed, if God permits'.