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November 29, 2007



Your comments about backing a horse cart remind me of a story that my father used to tell with great glee about his older sister when she and three of his other sisters put their money together to buy a car in the 1920s. Evidently she had terrible trouble backing up the car because she was used to doing it with a horse and cart, which had a joint in the middle where the car did not! I don't know anything about backing a horse cart, but my limited experience with a lawn mower cart suggests that when the horse backs to the right, the cart goes to the left and vise versa. I imagine that it takes quite a bit of skill.


You're right, it does take skill to back a horse cart. The horse does back one way and the cart the other too. It's quite different to a car.

Did you know that, when cars were first invented, one manufacturer actually equipped his machine with reins rather than a steering wheel!

William Thirteen

Berlin, 1937 - of the many despicable acts of Germany's National Socialist government was the creation of a national chimney sweep monopoly. The 'Kehrmonopol' - which the EU has only lately turned its attention to disrupting - strictly regulated who could be trained as a chimney sweep and which firms a citizen could use to perform inspection and maintenance of their heating infrastructure, virtually ensuring arrogance and poor service. On another note - German folk tradition has it that shaking the hand of your chimney sweep is a bringer of good luck!


I didn't know that about the car equipped with reins!

The note about the German folk tradition of it being lucky to shake the chimney sweep's hand is interesting too. That must be where the line in the Mary Poppins chimney sweep song comes from--"good luck will rub off when he shakes hands with you".

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