Brougham (carriage)

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Red Brougham Profile view.jpg
Brougham carriage

A brougham (pronounced "broom" or "brohm") was a light, four-wheeled horse-drawn carriage built in the 19th century.[1] It was either invented for Scottish jurist Lord Brougham or simply made fashionable by his example. It had an enclosed body with two doors, like the rear section of a coach; it sat two, sometimes with an extra pair of fold-away seats in the front corners, and with a box seat in front for the driver and a footman or passenger. Unlike a coach, the carriage had a glazed front window, so that the occupants could see forward. The forewheels were capable of turning sharply. A variant, called a brougham-landaulet, had a top collapsible from the rear doors backward.[2]

In 19th-century London, broughams previously owned and used as private carriages were commonly sold off for use as hackney carriages, often displaying painted-over traces of the previous owner's coat of arms on the carriage doors.

The special characteristics of the brougham bear a distinct similarity to the London Public Carriage Office's "Conditions of Fitness" for a vehicle intending to be licenced as a taxi cab.

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  1. ^ The OED gives a first usage in 1851, but the original design dates from about 1838, according to the Encyclopaedia Britannica. Brougham died in 1868.
  2. ^ Compare the landau.

Pronunciation of this word is correct as two syllables, \ˈbrü:(-ə)m, ˈbrō:(-ə)m\, but can be pronounced as one syllable, although this is considered "Americanized" or "slang."

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