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sedan-chairs-msg - 9/22/04

 

Period and re-creation sedan chairs.

 

NOTE: See also the files: travel-msg, ships-msg, ships-bib, p-backpacks-msg,  med-ships-art, carts-msg, boat-building-msg.

 

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NOTICE -

 

This file is a collection of various messages having a common theme that I  have collected from my reading of the various computer networks. Some messages date back to 1989, some may be as recent as yesterday.

 

This file is part of a collection of files called Stefan's Florilegium. These files are available on the Internet at: http://www.florilegium.org

 

I  have done  a limited amount  of  editing. Messages having to do  with separate topics  were sometimes split into different files and sometimes extraneous information was removed. For instance, the  message IDs  were removed to save space and remove clutter.

 

The comments made in these messages are not necessarily my viewpoints. I make  no claims  as  to the accuracy  of  the information  given by the individual authors.

 

Please  respect the time  and  efforts of  those who have written  these messages. The  copyright status  of these messages  is  unclear at this time. If  information  is  published  from  these  messages, please give credit to the originator(s).

 

Thank you,

    Mark S. Harris                  AKA:  THLord Stefan li Rous

                                          Stefan at florilegium.org

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From: rvoris at max.tiac.NET (Rebecca Voris)

Newsgroups: rec.org.sca

Subject: Sedan chairs

Date: 12 Jan 1995 15:09:38 -0500

 

A couple of years ago, Carolingia did a mumming that involved carrying

an "emperor" and a "pope" through the streets of Pennsic on sedan

chairs.  I was one of the "cardinals" who carried the "pope", and I am

here to tell you that damned chair was heavy!  We had four people on

it, and we were switching fresh bearers in and out regularly, but it

still was hard work.  Ow.  Just thinking about it makes my shoulder

sore.  If anyone seriously wants to be carried around Pennsic in a

sedan chair, they have to make the chair as light as possible, and get

bearers who already have both the strength and the endurance to carry

it.  Good luck!

 

--Godith Anyon

Carolingia

 

 

From: djheydt at uclink.berkeley.edu (Dorothy J Heydt)

Newsgroups: rec.org.sca

Subject: Re: Sedan chairs

Date: 12 Jan 1995 23:41:01 GMT

Organization: University of California, Berkeley

 

[Hal posting from Dorothy's account....]

Rebecca Voris <rvoris at max.tiac.NET> wrote:

>A couple of years ago, Carolingia did a mumming that involved carrying

>an "emperor" and a "pope" through the streets of Pennsic on sedan

>chairs.  I was one of the "cardinals" who carried the "pope", and I am

>here to tell you that damned chair was heavy!  We had four people on

>it, and we were switching fresh bearers in and out regularly, but it

>still was hard work.  Ow.  

 

Many years ago I was one of the chair-bearers at the No. Calif.

Ren Faire.  We used 6 people to carry, but then, Julie wasn't

exactly light and neither was her costume.  We estimated the

whole load to be somewhere around 400 pounds.  I was generally

the 'center right' bearer.  Since the poles the end bearers had

tended to flex, it got real interesting at times.  The padded

steel shoulder pads helped some.  The main carry was around 1/2

mile and we *never* switched bearers.

 

      --Hal Ravn

       (Hal Heydt)

 

 

Date: Wed, 02 Jan 2002 12:35:59 -0500

From: James Koch <alchem at en.com>

Newsgroups: rec.org.sca

Subject: Re: Sedan Chairs

Organization: CoreComm LTD - Chicago, IL

 

"Wm. Bryan Fountain" wrote:

> Well - I am starting up the final stages of my latest insane projects - and

> before I actually start to tear into raw materials i thought I would ask the

> dangerous question.......

>

> Has anyone out there built a sedan chair for transporting ladies at events.

> If you have is there any advice you would like to pass on to help me out.

>

> Ld Brun Canutteson - resident of the Midlands - (Midrealm)

> Squire & Seige Engineer for House VonBrandenburg

>

> MKA - Wm. Bryan Fountain

> Asst. Professor of Industrial Technology

> Sauk Valley Community College

> Dixon, IL

 

I built one 20 years ago and have brought it to just about every Pennsic

since.  However, for most of its life it has been the Ark Of

Pentwyvern.  We used to loan it out as a kind of limo to transport

ladies to great court.  That said if I had it all to do over again there

are a few major design changes I'd make.  

 

I built my "Sedan chair" after seeing the movie Kagemusha(sp?).  So It's

modelled somewhat after the Japanese/Roman design.  This design was also

used in Western Europe, but slung between two horses.  The advantage is

that it is totally stable since the poles run above the load.  So it

won't tip over when jostled.  The disadvantage is that when carried by

humans, the rider is below head level.  It is also a huge box which has

to be transported on a traylor.  Mine has removable sides and I use it

to store and transport my pavillion and related articles.  If you have

been to the Pentwyvern Goes To Hell party you have seen it.  During the

party we use it as the bar.  

 

The improvements I would make are as follows.  Forget about stability

and being able to store stuff inside of it.  Go with the light weight

bare chair on poles design.  This can be gotten to more events without

the need of a traylor. It is also light weight and doesn't take up much

space when being stored between events.  I'd build it around a knock

apart throne or a wicker chair (with arms!).  The poles would run at or

just below seat level.  This would place the rider above the crowd for a

good view.  At camping events the chair will come in handy.  The poles

will of course be removable and should slide into rings (not hooks) on

the side of the chair.  The poles will have to be made of ash or some

similar strong hard wood.  Long oars are available from marine

chandleries or over the web.  These can be turned (filed) and sanded to

the appropriate diameter.

 

James Koch (Gladius The Alchemist)

 

 

From: mikea at mikea.ath.cx (Mike Andrews)

Subject: Re: Sedan Chairs

Newsgroups: rec.org.sca

Organization: Department of Forensic Thaumaturgy, Miskatonic University, Arkham, MA

Date: Wed, 02 Jan 2002 17:55:27 GMT

 

James Koch <alchem at en.com> wrote:

[snip nice description of sedan chair and ideas for new one}

 

I just had an idea for strengthening the carry poles considerably

without much weight penalty:

 

Use a long piece of strap steel on top and on bottom of each

carry pole, well screwed or bolted down.

 

As the load is applied, the top iron will go into compression and

the botton iron into tension; the wood will be spared much of the

load. Of course, the fasteners will have to be relatively closely

spaced -- say one every 6 to 12 inches -- and have rather high

shear strength. You _could_ use through-bolts without much more

weight penalty. I think they wouldn't affect the strength much

(you should be able to do a FEM of the whole thing) and should

help lots in adding (or maintaining) strength.

 

Just think of it as a composite bow. I suppose you could use horn

on the top, and sinew on the bottom, but it'd be difficult, a bit

weather-sensitive, and take a long time to make.

 

 

Newsgroups: rec.org.sca

From: whheydt at kithrup.com (Wilson Heydt)

Subject: Re: Sedan Chairs

Organization: Kithrup Enterprises, Ltd.

Date: Thu, 3 Jan 2002 00:04:10 GMT

 

Wm. Bryan Fountain <wbfountain at aol.comnospam> wrote:

>>Just for curiosity, what are you thnking of making? Single seat?

>>Double seat? Open, covered, totally-enclosed? Sounds like a very

>>interesting project.

>>

>It will be sized down to only fit the size person that it can carry (weight

>wise) I am very concerned about the carry arms - since I do not want to use

>logs - but - I have considered rattan.  It will start off as a simple break

>down design with a steel framework enclosed inside of wood, that will carry a

>single medium sized person.  (I do not intend for it to carry someone my size

>or larger !)

 

Speaking from the experience of carrying sucha chair...make the

support arms as rigid as possible.  At the Renn Faire in Marin

County (CA) many years ago, I was one of six bearers for the Queen's

chair.  I was normally center-right. Because the poles flexed, I

tended to get most of weight each step.  

--

        Hal Ravn                                Hal Heydt

        Mists, Mists, West                      Albany, CA

 

 

From: "Tanya Guptill (Mira Silverlock)" <tguptill at teleport.com>

Newsgroups: rec.org.sca

Subject: Re: Sedan Chairs

Date: Thu, 03 Jan 2002 18:39:33 GMT

 

Lord Brun,

 

Have you considered using replacement wheelbarrow handles for the

handles? They would be preshaped, and are made out of hardwood.

 

Just a thought,

Mira Silverlock

 

> I am very concerned about the carry arms - since I do not want to use

> logs - but - I have considered rattan.  It will start off as a simple break

> down design with a steel framework enclosed inside of wood, that will carry a

> single medium sized person.  (I do not intend for it to carry someone my size

> or larger !)

>

> Ld Brun Canutteson - resident of the Midlands - (Midrealm)

 

 

Date: Fri, 04 Jan 2002 10:56:05 -0500

From: James Koch <alchem at en.com>

Newsgroups: rec.org.sca

Subject: Re: Sedan Chairs

Organization: CoreComm LTD - Chicago, IL

 

Aine wrote:

> I would approach someone in their inner circle and ask something like "Do

> you think Her Majesty would be comfortable in this chair I am building?" If

> not are there any modifications you could suggest? Retainers make it their

> business to keep a good eye on "their Royals". Hope this helps.

>

> Aine

 

Another solution.  Find the heaviest person you feel safe carrying and

have them sit in a chair.  Then measure the width of the space required

and make the seat of your sedan chair (between the arm rests) a couple

of inches narrower.  As to the stress, the poles on my sedan chair are

standard pine 2x4s.  I selected two for striaght grain and no knots.

They are not actually round, but are rather square with radiused edges.

So at the chair they are 2x4 and taper rapidly to 2x2.  As long as the

poles aren't too long you don't have to worry about too much of a lever

arm.  Also remember, each pole is carrying only 1/4 of the rider's

weight.  So a 200# load (including the weight of the chair) places only

50 pounds on each pole.  Any good hardwood 2x2 ought to work just fine

with strength to spare.  The real question is where are you going to

find 4 bearers of the same height and how far do you expect to carry

people in this thing?  Men's shoulder heights vary by a few inches, so

you might want to have a few small dense cushions available to go under

the poles.  Also try to space the bearers equidistant from the center of

gravity to evenly distribute the load.  Rotate the bearers from side to

side at each stop to allow them to shift shoulders.  If you are going to

transport anyone a long distance (processions at Pennsic), provide

strong belts with holsters holding vertical bifurcated poles to help

support the weight.  This will put most of the weight on the bearer's

hips and legs and off of their shoulders and spines.

 

Jim Koch (Gladius The Alchemist)

 

 

From: alchem at en.com (James Koch)

Newsgroups: rec.org.sca

Subject: Re: rickshaws

Date: 2 Sep 2003 19:52:55 -0700

 

Oriental rickshaws are relatively modern and were likely introduced by

Westerners.  Some people make this sound like another Western

imperialist colonialist racist capitalist attempt to enslave

indigenous peoples.  Bullshit.  The simple fact of the matter is, the

rickshaw was an improvement on extant sedan chairs AKA litters which

had been around since ancient times.  I believe the Japanese model

consisted of a pole carried by two or more men on their shoulders.

Suspended from the pole was a light weight box with a sliding door in

which the passenger, (often an invalid) rode around town.  For longer

journeys these could be suspended between two horses as in Western

Europe.  The advantage of a wheeled rickshaw lies in the fact that a

man can pull 9 times more weight than he can carry.  That means even

after adding in the weight of the wheels, the rickshaw man can

transport a rider with much less effort than would be expended by two

men carrying a sedan chair.  My guess is rickshaws replaced the

earlier conveyance due to the fact that the rickshaw man could keep

all the fare to himself since he didn't have to share it with a

partner, while at the same time expending less effort.

 

Jim Koch (Gladius The Alchemist)

 

 

From: alchem at en.com (James Koch)

Newsgroups: rec.org.sca

Subject: Re: rickshaws

Date: 3 Sep 2003 08:21:45 -0700

 

> would a rickshaw have benefitted from paved streets?  seems like a litter

> would be easier to handle over uneven terrain, while a rickshaw would have

> been ideal in a city/town.

 

I suppose it would.  Another factor was the availability by the 19th

century of factory massed produced hubs, spokes, fellies, tires, and

complete wheels.  These were invariably dished and hence stronger and

lighter than the farm wheels produced earlier.  They were also cheaper

and of standard sizes and diameters.

 

An interesting point is that the litters of the ancient Romans existed

entirely due to the laws banning wheeled vehicles from the streets

during daylight hours.  In the rest of Italy the population rode in

vehicles similar to the two wheeled carts the Amish still use here in

Ohio.  Basically a chariot with a bench for a driver and passenger.

 

Jim Koch (Gladius The Alchemist)

 

<the end>



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Comments to the Editor: stefan at florilegium.org