Gig (carriage)

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Nyirseg type two-wheel carriage.JPG

A gig, also called chair or chaise, is a light, two-wheeled sprung cart pulled by one horse.


Gigs travelling at night would normally carry two oil lamps with thick glass, known as gig-lamps. Gig carts are constructed with the driver's seat sitting higher than the level of the shafts. Traditionally, a gig is more formal than a village cart or a meadowbrook cart. A light gig can be used for carriage racing. OED gives the date of first known reference to a horse-drawn gig as 1791. There are several types of gig, including:

  • calesín: small, one-horse, hooded, a seat behind for the driver, used in the Philippines; diminutive of Spanish calesa
  • stanhope: typically having a high seat and closed back; named after Fitzroy Stanhope, a British clergyman who died in 1864.
  • stick gig: lightweight, two-wheeled, for one person
  • Tilbury (carriage), lightweight, two-wheeled,
  • whiskey or whisky: small body that resembles a chair, suspended on leather braces attached to springs

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