Horse's Nosebag

Contributed by London Canal Museum

The nosebag is a portable feeding bag for the working horse. This humble tool was part of the enormous range of tools, infrastructure, and work that went into horse transport in the 19th century and in earlier years. The horse's place in the development of modern society can hardly be overstated. Before the internal combustion engine, the horse was responsible for goods transport to and from the railways, and for most cargo carried on canals, and for all local transport. Without the horse, the development of an industrial society would have been thwarted. The canals were key to the industrial revolution: they made it possible to transport goods and without transport, industrialisation would have been impossible. But the canals depended entirely on the horse for motive power.

In cities too, the horse was essential. There were an estimated 300,000 at work in London alone in the late 19th century. They carried everything to and from canals and railways, and they remained in service on the canals until the 1950s even though motorised canal boats had been introduced in Britain in 1911.

On this nosebag, recently conserved for London Canal Museum, civilisation depended!

Comments are closed for this object

Most of the content on A History of the World is created by the contributors, who are the museums and members of the public. The views expressed are theirs and unless specifically stated are not those of the BBC or the British Museum. The BBC is not responsible for the content of any external sites referenced. In the event that you consider anything on this page to be in breach of the site’s House Rules please Flag This Object.

About this object

Click a button to explore other objects in the timeline

Location

England - maker unknown

Culture
Period

The nosebag is most probably Victorian

Theme
Size
H:
90cm
W:
50cm
D:
5cm
Colour
Material

BBC © 2014 The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites. Read more.

This page is best viewed in an up-to-date web browser with style sheets (CSS) enabled. While you will be able to view the content of this page in your current browser, you will not be able to get the full visual experience. Please consider upgrading your browser software or enabling style sheets (CSS) if you are able to do so.