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On carriage, trauma and the odd occurrence.

"Love and marriage, love and marriage Go together like a horse and carriage This I tell you brother You can't have one without the other"....


While staying in the Wynnstay Hotel, a Georgian former posting inn, dating from 1727, I found myself looking at a drawing hung on the hotel's wall: "The leading road coaches leaving the white horse cellars, summer season 1888. The engraving was dedicated by special permission to his Grace, the Duke of Beafort, printed by Harington Bird.


A few days later' while visiting the Museum of Science and Industry in Manchester, I have observed a model of an old carriage there:


And in another room, these two models: Picture no. 3 and 4 were taken by the author.



After the name of the Scottish jurist Lord Brougham, a light, four-wheeled horse-drawn "Brougham carriage" was built .It was built by the London coachbuilder Robinson & Cook in 1838. Another variant, was called a brougham-landaulet, which had a top collapsible from the rear doors backward.


"The Brougham horse-drawn carriage, before becoming redundant with advancing technology, was an invention that changed the world" [1].

The "etre frappe" or "the odd occurrence experience", a phenomenon described by Claude Bernard [1813-1878], is a sudden awareness of an idea or phenomenon, which was totally "hidden" or "unseen" before.

The usually "midnight experience ", might be a religious, behavioral or a scientific one. After conceiving this new idea, or this new revelation, there is a long way to prove it (if it is a scientific innovation) or a long route of mystical or religious conversion [2].

Than I recalled Henri de ToulouseLautrec's "Alphonse de Toulouse- Lautrec-Monfa Driving his Mail-Coach in Nice", aroused some forgotten idea: driving in this coach or carriage, might be not so romantic and innocent.


These recollections on carriages and coaches, led me to a few medical reminiscences: The known psychiatrist Philipp Pinel (1745- 1826) is often depicted as the father of modern psychiatry [during the French Revolution]; in his treatise entitled "Nosographie Philosophique" (1798), "he described the case of the philosopher Blaise Pascal (1623-1662) who almost drowned in the Seine when the horses drawing his carriage bolted.

During the remaining eight years of his life, Pascal had recurring dreams of a precipice on his left side and would place a chair there to prevent falling off his bed. His personality changed, and he became more apprehensive, scrupulous, withdrawn, and depressive" [4].

The famous German mathematicianastronomer Carl Friedrich Gaufi (1777-1855), did not leave Gottingen for almost twenty years. He was convinced to take part in a ceremony in which the new railway station and the line to Cassel were opened. He was taken by a horse-carriage: the horses were frightened by the train's noise, the carriage turned down, the driver was terribly wounded but Gauss was physically unhurt. This event had deeply touched him: he was always regarded as hypochondriac, although he was afflicted with 'real' health problems: sudden deafness and later in his life, severe cardiac insufficiency [5].

There is no question that Napoleon's chief surgeon, Baron Dominique Jean Larrey (17661842), the father of modern military surgery, invented and initiated transportation to the wounded soldiers, out of the battlefield to the rear hospitals. The "Flying ambulances" (ambulance volante), were apparently, horse carriages [6].

Thomas Hodgkin (1798- 1866) was a British physician, who held radical political views. "He promoted the education of working-class men and became a founding member of the Senate of the University of London in 1836. He was concerned about the effects of colonisation on indigenous cultures. This led to his arriving at Guy's in a carriage 'with a half naked native American', much to the displeasure of Benjamin Harrison, Treasurer of Guy's. It was perhaps because of this incident in 1837 that Hodgkin failed to win an appointment to the permanent clinical staff of Guy's" [7].

"A chariot is a type of carriage driven by a charioteer using primarily horses to provide rapid motive power. Chariots were used in militaries as transport or mobile archery platforms, for hunting or for racing, and as a convenientlyfast way to travel for many ancien[8].

I have visited several times, Wilfred Owen's (1893-1918) house in Oswestry. His anti-military poems sounds so relevant today [9]:

"I Know The Music

All sounds have been as music to my listening: Pacific lamentations of slow bells,

The crunch of boots on blue snow rosy-glistening, Shuffle of autumn leaves; and all farewells:

Bugles that sadden all the evening air, And country bells clamouring their last appeals Before [the] music of the evening prayer; Bridges, sonorous under carriage wheels. Gurgle of sluicing surge through hollow rocks,

The gluttonous lapping of the waves on weeds, Whisper of grass; the myriad-tinkling flocks, The warbling drawl of flutes and shepherds' reeds.

The orchestral noises of October nights Blowing symphonetic storms Of startled clarions Drums, rumbling and rolling thunderous and.

Thrilling of throstles in the keen blue dawn, Bees fumbling and fuming over sainfoin-fields. "

Gustave Flauber's Emma Bovary [10], became a symbol of a neurotic hallucinating and free woman: "Emma having sex behind drawn shades in a hackney carriage circling round and round Rouen, to the bewilderment of onlookers. She and her new lover are unseen, but unseen in flagrante delicto, and unheard except for the lover angrily hectoring the coachman to press on. Here as elsewhere, eros travels recklessly. Heeding Flaubert's metaphoric cues, Stevenson reads the blind journey as a dirge timed to the beat of horses ' hooves and conducted by a death wish. The scene harks back to the agricultural show, only one or two harvest seasons past in her neighbors' calendar, but long enough ago for Emma to have descended from the Romantic stage to a harlot's mobile boudoir" [11].

"Deb", one of the patients of Professor Jean-Martin Charcot (1825--1893), lived " more evocatively in my imagination as "the lady in the carriage", a title drawn from Charcot's description of her symptoms, and from the associated photographs which capture static moments of her frenzied and compulsive dance" [12].

The Dutch pediatrician, professor Simon van Creveld (1894-1971), and his wife, survived the Nazi concentration camp.... "There is an anecdote, of uncertain veracity, concerning the delineation of the Ellis-van Creveld syndrome. It is said that Ellis and van Creveld met fortuitously in a railway carriage while travelling to a medical congress and that in the course of the conversation they realized that they were both contemplating publication of an account of the same disorder. They agreed to publish a joint description of the condition that now bears their names, Ellis being accorded priority for the sake of euphony and by virtue of his alphabetical precedence " [12].

Tragically, carriage became the background of murder: in 1832, the famous French anatomist and orthopedic surgeon, Dr. Jacques Mathieu Delpech (1777-1832) was shot dead by a patient he had operated for variocele as he was riding back to Montpellier in an open carriage. The famous Austrian -Jewish pianist Henri Herz (Vienna, Jan. 6, 1806- Paris, Jan. 5, 1888) accompanied the violinist Lafont, in a tour, through Germany Holland and France, but this was suddenly terminated by the tragic death of Lafont, who was thrown out of his carriage and instantly killed [13].


Conflicts of interest

The author declare no conflicts of interest.

Financial disclosure

The author declare no financial disclosure.


[1.] Robinson A. Ingenious Inventions. The Lancet 2015 Jan 24;385:320.

[2.] Fried Y. The odd occurrence. Isr J Med Sci 1977 Sep 13;13(9):917-9.

[3.] oulouse -Lautrec -Monfa- 1838-1913-DrivingHis-Mail-Coach-in-Nice-1881 -Posters_ i13487 32 _.htm. [cited 2015 Dec 2]

[4.] Crocq MA, & Crocq L. From shell shock and war neurosis to posttraumatic stress disorder: a history of psychotraumatology [Du shell shock et de la nevrose de guerre a l'etat de stress posttraumatique: une histoire de la psychotraumatologie]. Dialogues Clin Neurosci 2000 Mar;2(1):47-55.

[5.] Burch GE, Carl Friedrich Gauss, a genius who apparently died of arteriosclerotic heart disease and congestive heart failure. AMA Arch Intern Med. 1958 Apr;101(4):824-34.

[6.] Brewer LA 3rd, Baron Dominique Jean Larrey (1766-1842). Father of modern military surgery, innovater, humanist. J Thorac Cardiovasc Surg. 1986 Dec;92(6):1096-8.

[7.] Warren P, Thomas Hodgkin. 1798-1866. Health advocate for Manitoba. Clin Invest Med (Can.), 2007;30(4), Suppl, S48.

[8.] https ://en.wikipedia. org/wiki/Chariot. [cited 2015 Dec 2]

[9.] Pearce JM, William Halse Rivers (1864-1922) and the sensory nervous system. Eur Neurol. 2008 Jul 30;60(4):208-11.

[10.] Kaptein AA. Emma Bovary, Hedda Gabler, and Harold Brodkey would not have lived without Charcot: hysteria in novels. Front Neurol Neurosci. 2014 June 26;35:90-8

[11.] ew/madame-bovary-and-therese-raquin-asaudiobooks.html?_r=0. [cited 2015 Dec 2]

[12.] Charcot JM, Lectures on the Diseases of the Nervous System, translated by George Sigerson, London, The New Sydenham Society, 1877.

[13.] 4-herz-henri. [cited 2015 Dec 2]

[14.] KUTRQ9). [cited 2015 Dec 2]

Ohry A *.

Rehabilitation Medicine, Reuth Medical Center, Tel Aviv, Israel

* Corresponding author:

Rehabilitation Medicine

Sackler Faculty of Medicine

Tel Aviv University

P.O. Box 2342

Savyon 56530, Israel


Received: 21.11.2015

Accepted: 13.12.2015
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Author:Ohry, A.
Publication:Progress in Health Sciences
Date:Dec 1, 2015
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