Brake (carriage)

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A brake (carriage)

A brake (French: break), was a horse-drawn carriage used in the 19th and early 20th centuries in the training of horses for draft work. A shooting-brake, was a brake pressed into service to carry beaters, gamekeepers and sportsmen with their dogs, guns and game.

There were purpose-built shooting-brakes designed to carry the driver and a footman or gamekeeper at the front facing forward, and passengers on longitudinal benches, with their dogs, guns and game borne along the sides in slatted racks.

In the 19th century, a brake was a large, four-wheeled carriage-frame with no body, used for breaking in young horses, either singly or in teams of two or four. It has no body parts except for a high seat upon which the driver sits and a small platform for a helper immediately behind.

If the passenger seats were made permanent the vehicle might be described as a waggonette.

Currently the term is sometimes used for an estate car (see also shooting-brake) or station wagon. In France, the term break is synonymous with a station wagon, having been called a break de chasse, literally translated: hunting break.

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