The New International Encyclopædia/Cart

CART (AS. cræt, Icel. kartr, from Welsh cart, Ir., Gael. cairt, cart, diminutive of carr, car). A two-wheeled vehicle, usually without top or springs, designed, in most cases, to carry heavy loads and to be drawn by one horse. The cart is doubtless the oldest, as it is the simplest, form of carriage. In its primitive form it consisted of a box or platform mounted on a rude axletree at whose extremities wheels, formed by making transverse sections from a tree-trunk, revolved. To this axletree the poles or shaft were also fastened. The earliest chariots, though elaborately ornamented, were constructed on this simple plan. In modern times carts are used in many countries for agricultural purposes. The one-horse cart is employed by carriers all over Scotland. In France and Germany the carrier's cart is a somewhat heavier vehicle. Long in the body, very strong in construction, and poised on two high wheels with broad rims, this Continental cart carries enormous loads. The dump-cart is a vehicle so constructed that it can be unloaded by simply tilting the body of the vehicle. It is much used in the United States for hauling dirt from excavations, and for the removal of ashes and garbage in cities. There is another class of carts or two-wheeled vehicles which are used for pleasure carriages. An example of this class is the dog-cart, so called because it was originally made for the conveyance of sporting dogs. Such carts are particularly available for tandem driving (see Driving), and there are many types for both town and country use. An essential feature of a good dog-cart is a mechanical or other device whereby the body or weight may be shifted on the frame so as to secure a proper balance and consequent ease of traction for the horse by removing the weight as much as possible from his back. The gadabout is a somewhat low form of dog-cart, while the Whitechapel cart is generally built of considerable height and is largely used for tandem driving. The gig, a two-wheeled cart with a single seat, modern types of which are known as tilburies and stanhopes, also belongs to this class. The calash of Canada, where the driver sits in a low seat in front of his fares, is one of the older forms of cart which still survive. The Irish jaunting-car, where two seats are placed back to back lengthwise of the car, and directly behind the driver, is also well known. The trotting sulky, which, like the trotting horse, is a peculiarly American product, is another important type of two-wheeled vehicles. In 1892 the pneumatic tire and ball-bearings which had been used with such success on the bicycle were applied to the trotting sulky, and the diameters of the wheels were reduced. The result was a material lowering of the trotting records. There are also numerous other types of two-wheeled carts known as road-carts, which, while not possessing a high degree of comfort, are useful and convenient and are easy on the horse. Certain of these are specially designed for breaking colts and others for exercising trotting horses. For a discussion of vehicles in general, see Carriage; Driving.