The advent of motorised vehicles in the late 19th century had the unfortunate side-effect of terrifying their predecessors – horses. As horse drawn carriages and these new-fangled automobiles whizzed past one another on busy streets, the horses would be so startled by the speed and noise of the machines that their owners would threaten to shoot the drivers there and then!
Enter Uriah Smith. An inventor from Michigan, in 1899 Smith proposed a solution in the form of the Horsey Horseless carriage; a motorised vehicle with a wooden horses head attached to the front, so it somewhat resembled a typical horse and carriage. He reasoned that, upon witnessing this monstrosity, “The live horse would be thinking of another horse and before he could discover his error and see that he had been fooled, the strange carriage would be passed.”
It is not know whether any Horsey Horseless carriages were ever actually made.
As an extra, I read somewhere that the first speeding ticket was given in 1896, where someone was speeding down the road at an astonishing 8 mph in a 2 mph zone. Scandalous. I wonder what their reaction would be if someone told them how fast people go today in order to get a speeding ticket.
(via Oddment Emporium)