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Bryan
Hagerty Employee

The harebrained idea to help horses get used to horseless carriages

It was the turn of the century and the dawn of the automotive age. Given that major cultural shifts rarely come to pass without a hiccup, the advent of the motor car and its internal combustion engine was not without its problems. For instance, how do you make the switch from horse power to horsepower a little easier on the real horses?

 

Enter Uriah Smith, a Seventh Day Adventist preacher and inventor from Battle Creek, Michigan. Smith’s main objection with cars was that they scared the hell out of the four-legged transportation of the day, resulting in accidents and death. He figured the best way to calm a horse when a car drove past was to make that car look a little less foreign.

 

Read the full article on Hagerty.com:

https://www.hagerty.com/media/automotive-history/the-harebrained-idea-to-help-horses-get-used-to-hor...

18 REPLIES 18
Literarymadness
Passenger

The Original pre-Ford Mustang

sidewinder
New Driver

My how times have changed.  Cars of the past were all unique in their styling but today they all appear to be designed resembling squished jellybeans or the southern end of a northbound horse.

dchappy
Pit Crew

No more smelly mess and stepping in it.

SilentBoy741
Advanced Driver

I guess the origin of the pony car goes back further than we thought.

Rockem
Intermediate Driver

At least he was thinking out of the box. We could use some of that today.

Bertone780
Intermediate Driver

The original Pony Car

gregleck
Passenger

The narrator's comment of "horses, horses, horses" was a reference to a popular 1937 song which used that line in the lyrics.

warrene
Intermediate Driver

Amish buggies and horses on the roads here all the time and with nary a problem, these horses grow up with vehicles and pay them no attention, are well trained.  Back in the old days it was a real problem, those cars were noisy and smoked a lot, just a little too far out of the norm for horses of the day, used to peace and quiet.

joefo
Pit Crew

So...the modern interpretation would be to have mannequins behind the wheel of autonomous cars so people can get used to them?

colsteve
Pit Crew

No, they would use inflatable dates, they get better miles per gallon of air!

SilentBoy741
Advanced Driver

"Hello I'm JohnnyCab, where can I take you tonight?"

Balocco
Pit Crew

How to reduce horsepower using a horse.  

Zephyr
Advanced Driver

Useless. Horses see the world through odor much more than sight. 

audiobycarmine
Advanced Driver

So… Don Corleone’s people should have picked Jack Woltz’s car?!? 

Jost
Intermediate Driver

Great story, thank you.

acooper529
Intermediate Driver

One of the funniest, if unintentional, sentences ever written.

Check the end of paragraph 3

"kind of like pulling a moose head off the wall of a hunting cabin and slapping it on the front of a Jeep"

dla68
Passenger

What about a horse approaching from the rear?  Maybe, Uriah should have thought of putting the appropriate appendage there.  Better, yet...he might have pasted his own photograph at the rear--perfect substitute for a horse's a__ __!

Vern
Intermediate Driver

I liked the way the real horse in that video turned and stared.  It was probably thinking "WTF?!"  😄