Advert: The Conflict of the Horse and the Horseless Carriage

  • 27 May 2023
  • Early Vehicles
  • Back

A new ease of travel was brought about by the internal combustion engine. The date of the above Country Life adverts, 1901, was still the age of the bicycle, and Humbers could use the slogan, 'The Kings of Europe Ride the Kings of Cycles' Cars had started to appear in 1898, and advertisements were often novel and extravagent; but they show changes in the pattern of life over modern days.

By 1902, the choice of cars was wide, at 137 Regent Street you could see an electric carriage, elsewhere a locomobile, or a De Dietrich that could claim it 'did 750 miles without stopping with as much ease as a drive round the Park'. But more than the novelty of the car is apparent from the Daimler advertisement of 1902, which reminds intending purchasers of their omnibus, that against the cost of £900 'no horses have to be paid for and kept'. Adverts such as those above are a vivid kind of social history.