Horse and Transportation in Context
These pieces inform readers about the place of the horse in the Prince Edward Island of yesteryear, and what modes of transportation were common at the turn of the 20th century.
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The first automobiles developed were very loud and smelled vile. In 1908, there were only about seven automobiles on Prince Edward Island. Almost everyone hated automobiles at first, because horses were afraid of them. Horses were afraid of automobiles because of the smell and the sound that they made. Horses would be able to smell an automobile before it got to the horse's location. Horses also didn't want to go to certain areas when the smell of fuel was in that area.
Bicycles became popular in the early 1800's. They were invented in Europe. There were 1.4 billion bicycles in use by 1900. People used bicycles around the world and still use them, even today. The first pedal bicycle was made in 1839; it didn't have a name. Bicycles with two equal-sized wheels, like the ones we use today, were developed in the late 19th century. They quickly became popular.
In the 1800's and early 1900's, the blacksmith was very important to every day life on Prince Edward Island. Blacksmiths made goods out of metal using a forge. You had to be very talented with metals and iron if you were going to be a blacksmith; you had to know how to work the metal or iron properly to be a good blacksmith. There was usually a blacksmith shop close to everybody's home back then.
People used to use horses to pull carriages, buggies and sleighs for getting around in the late 1800's and early 1900's, just as we use cars today. These vehicles were mostly made of wood, and there were different types of vehicles for different occasions. Single-seated buggies were used to carry one or two people; double-seated buggies carried more people. Sleighs were used in the winter for travelling over snow and sometimes ice, and came in different sizes. Smaller sleighs were used to carry a few people, and large sleighs might be used for fun excursions in the wintertime. Carriages also came in different sizes, and different types were used for different occasions.
Funerals in the 1900's were very different than they are nowadays. They weren't held in a funeral home; they were held in a parlour in someone's house. The parlour was the most fanciest room of the house, and it was only used for special occasions. For instance, it would be used when special visitors like the minister or priest came over, or for weddings or funerals.
Horse racing was a fun and active sport for the whole family. Horse racing is a sport when you sit on a sulky behind a horse holding onto the reins to help the horse steer. A sulky is a two wheeled bike. The wheels are side by side and between the two wheels there is a seat. In the late 1800's and early 1900's, a sulky was made out of wood, but today they can be made out of lots of materials.