1649: Vehicle a.k.a. Nuremberg Carriage By Johann Hautsch

Nuremberg Carriage
A few days ago I was reading about bicycles, and ran into this contraption style below. I do not know if this mechanism was actually a motorized vehicle, but there is enough in there to investigate, and this is exactly what I wanted to offer our blog members to do. There appears to be not enough clear information on what exactly it was. The available info sounds somewhat ridiculous to consider it seriously, but then again, our understanding of the past is limited to our today's expectations.

1646 Nürnberger Triumpfwagen.jpg

1646 Nürnberger Triumpfwagen 21.jpg

Image Source
Please translate the above, if you can.

A celebrated mechanician called Johan Hautsch of Nuremburg in Germany built an ornate carriage in 1649. It is thought to have been worked by two men concealed inside, who turned the rear axle by means of handles. It is reported to have gone up and down hills, and steered around corners, and stopped and started as desired, attaining a speed of 2,000 paces an hour (which isn't very fast). It could carry several passengers, and a dragon in front could spout out a stream of water to clear a way through a crowd. This might have been superfluous, because the dragon could turn its eyes to and fro with great rapidity. If this (and the water) didn't frighten people out of the way, the angels, mounted one on each side of the carriage, sounded their trumpets.
Hans Hautsch

1595 - 1670

Hautsch sold his first carriage to the Crown Prince of Sweden and later built another for the King of Denmark. The Scandinavian crowds assembling to cheer the carriages as they crawled by must have been at least as hardy and patient as the men inside struggling to propel the great mass, heavy with water for the dragon, as they applied their lips to the angels' trumpets.
  • Since it could carry several passengers, the two men inside must have found propelling it hard work – especially when they had to pump water and blow the trumpets while going uphill, all at the same time.
  • Source: Early Vehicles

KD Opinion: I am always suspicious, when I see things similar to "It is thought to have been worked by two men concealed inside." For me there is only one meaning to a statement like that. This means that historians have no clear understanding of what this vehicle was powered by.
  • To be fair, there is a contemporary facsimile of the 1904 (has to be at least 1905 imo) edition of Automobile Biographies, which states the below:
Nuremberg Carriage 10.jpg

The above cutout is clearly missing "apparently" and "thought to". It also reduces the range from 2,000 paces to 1,000. Either way, both speeds are tremendously slow - between .5 and 1 miles per hour.

By the way, here is what appears to be the second model of the same vehicle.

Nuremberg Carriage 11.jpg

KD: Here is my modest take on this carriage
  • Would be nice to get, and translate the original source of the technical information above. Not that it is going to be truthful but at least we will know what the 17th century source says
  • It's existence makes very little sense if its max was only 1 MPH
  • For something like this to be operated by manual power, they would need to have semi-decent solid surface roads in 1649
  • They would also need two very powerful individuals to propel this carriage with several people, especially if they really had to travel uphill
  • The carriage had to have a serious water supply, as well as some sort of a pump system to to affect the crowd. The weight of the water would also add to the gross weight of the carriage, thus making it even heavier
  • I have no idea where two grown adult propelling this carriage could be hidden
  • Could it be that our mechanical carriage and the Triumphal Carriage are one and the same?

Same Principle?

  • 1649 Carriage has an animal head in the front, eyes, shoots water, sounds its trumpets
  • 2019 Cars have logos (some are griffins), headlights, windshield washer, and a horn
Nuremberg Carriage 12.jpg

The image above was located on this web page / translation. Looking at the three available pictures, the operator is always holding on to those handles. Is he holding on to those for balance, or is he controlling vehicle with these two levers?

Anyways, I think you see where I'm going with this. Let us hear some opinions. Would be nice if we get the original translation, identify which book it came from, and may be obtain some additional info. I'm not counting too much on finding anything concrete, but who knows...
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