Berlin (carriage)

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Royal berline of Leopold II
1760s. Moscow Historical Museum

A Berlin (or Berline) carriage was a type of covered, fast and light, four-wheeled, travelling carriage with two interior seats and a separate hooded rear seat for a footman, detached from the body. It had a distinctive two-perch running gear and thoroughbrace suspension, with the body hung high between the perches by shafts to leather braces.

The Berlin was a more convenient method of transportation, being lighter and less likely to overturn than other carriages. A stirrup or footstool made boarding more convenient. Instead of side windows, there were hoods to let down in bad weather.

The carriage was designed around 1670 by a Piedmontese architect in the service of the Elector of Brandenburg. It took its name from Brandenburg's capital city (and now the capital of Germany), Berlin, where it was first used and became fashionable in the late 17th and 18th centuries. It became popular in England in the 18th century after it was imported by a German officer.

Later, the term came to be used for an enclosed automobile body having at the rear of the driver's seat a glass partition with usually one movable window.

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  1.  This article incorporates text from a publication now in the public domainChambers, Ephraim, ed. (1728). "article name needed". Cyclopaedia, or an Universal Dictionary of Arts and Sciences (first ed.). James and John Knapton, et al. 


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