Sunday, November 25, 2007

Dashing Through The Slow

In A One-Horse Open Dray

Photograph copyright: DAVID McMAHON



O'er the fields we go; Slushy all the way. A few days ago, the word "dashboard" came up in some context and I promised to explain how the word was derived. I had no idea until a friend of mine with a keen interest in cars explained it to me a couple of years ago. Apparently the word goes back to the days of horse-drawn carriages. To prevent mud from the hooves of the horses splashing back onto the gentry, a wooden board was put judiciously in place.

This worked particularly well, especially when the horses were cantering or "dashing". It became known as the dashboard and the term survives today, in the hi-tech automobile industry. This photograph is not of an ordinary dashboard - it depicts a Rolls-Royce Phantom that I had the pleasure of photographing a few months ago.

9 comments:

Casdok said...

I love learning facts like that!

Crystal Jigsaw said...

Those cars are particularly beautiful. I am not sure I would have enjoyed sitting in a horse drawn carriage being covered in mud.

Crystal xx

Sometimes Saintly Nick said...

I understand (according to my now deceased uncle) that it was also called a “splashboard,” although I suppose that was carried over to automobiles for a rather obvious reason.

imac said...

well, we learn something daily,David. Most interesting.

i beati said...

Excellent "fit" for the season !!Yay!!

Melissa said...

I never knew that before! Great piece of information.

BRUNO said...

Never thought of it in that light before. Sounds sensible enough to me, though.

I learned a LONG time ago, to not ride a hay wagon behind the tractor, while going through a barnyard, with your mouth OPEN. While passing through such areas, the word is, indeed, MUM...!

katherine. said...

great trivia for later use!

Lin said...

That was a great trivia treat, thank you! I'd love to hear the tale behind 'rumble seat' some day.