There was a time when Britannia accidentally ruled the world through commerce... Other European nations partook of the colonization of vulnerable lands with massive resources as well, tying the world together, for good or ill, and shaping the modern world as we know it. It was common for young men to begin their careers by … Continue reading Colony Exports
During the heyday of Caravan living it is important to remember that these were rarely the dwelling of a loner. The Caravan was the hub of the nuclear family and groups of wagons represented larger, extended family groups and allies. We are social creatures that thrive in community.
Every traveler has a campfire has the center of daily life. The hearth has been our home for 1.5 - 2 million years now. No wonder it fascinates us and brings so much comfort. Nomads in a stationary culture are often tolerated at best and left only marginal space to congregate. This will probably never … Continue reading Traveller Life
Well this is exciting. I got interviewed at winter count near Florence, Arizona back in February. It's heavily edited from a much longer discussion but I don't think I sound too stupid here talking about the Vardo. The interview is very close-up and tight but you can get a feel for the interior layout. There … Continue reading Interview Time
Enjoy this beautiful Showman's Wagon ca. 1900. This would be a wonderful way to travel.
A look at the origins and evolution of our favorite camp stove... This post was going to be a few words about the Primus stoves we all love and some images I've collected from around the web. As usual, I found myself rambling all over the topic without a clear direction but here is a … Continue reading Classic Liquid Fuel Stoves
Once again, I am producing some large, traveler's wallets. While some are waiting their finishing touches, here's the first of six. They are all of the same general size and design but each has some variation in shape and closure type. I think my dying is improving. Having read more on the subject, I've been … Continue reading Traveler’s Wallet
A LITTLE CARAVANNING HISTORY At the end of the first decade of the twentieth century, the young artist Frances Jennings became a semi-invalid and was advised by her doctor to spend as much time as she could in the open air. Being a Victorian lady at loose ends, the obvious choice was to take to … Continue reading Happiness in Simplicity
Despite how much I like this photo, I have held off posting this image here because I couldn't find any attribution or further information about this gentleman and his fine bicycle. I came across it several years ago and stuck it in my image files until I could find out more; alas, I have not. … Continue reading Bike Trekker – Allen Hastings Fry
The Lady Go Lightly... Images from:
In Britain and Ireland, the Romany Gypsys and the Traveller community are often associated with low-skilled work such as scrap dealers, horse traders, musical entertainers, or more nefarious activities outside the societal norms. However, there were plenty of skilled craftsmen and craftswomen providing goods and services to people around the country. Below is an image … Continue reading The World is Your Workshop
Travellers in Europe and Britain have always been associated with a style tent called a bender. This comes from the construction technique of cutting saplings and bending them into a dome, elongated dome, or half cylinder shape, These frameworks were then covered with tarps and made watertight in the temperate damp. The origins of this … Continue reading Tents and the Vardo Life; What is a Bender?
I really like everything about the image above. We see three very different types of wagon-home-conveyances and a family, wearing clothing of the time. Travellers on the margin of mainstream society have been shunned, persecuted, and culturally dismissed while at the same time romanticized for their freedom and seeming lack of attachment to a more … Continue reading A Romany Family in Scotland
Here's another excellent photo of a pack of vardos (caravans) in the wild. It looks like everyone came out and maybe even spruced themselves up for the photo. I couldn't find any metadata on this one but it looks fairly early, probably late nineteenth century. These appear to be high-end models in great condition still. … Continue reading Caravans
I keep a couple tool rolls for specialty fixes but I really like this setup from over a century ago. I think I need to make and "essentials" kit like this for general travel to keep the tings I truly need in need place and handy. It might be a little heavy for the rambler … Continue reading Motor Car Tool Kit ca. 1907
That's quite a velocipede indeed! Gymnacyclidium - This sounds like something for which you could be administered a shot to clear it up. I thought these monstrosities worth looking at for the danger factor if nothing else. Let's hope the young lady is wearing adequate undergarments as it seems certain she will be taking a … Continue reading Gymnacyclidium
Someday, I'll have one this nice again... Click the image for a much larger version.
Here are a couple final Alfred Munnings images of Romani caravans in an English countryside. As a keen observer, he definitely caught the important details of each type of caravan and the essentials of camp life. The watercolor above is somewhat unusual for Munnings as it shows no animals, people, or campfire. Above is a … Continue reading More Historic Caravans in Art
These images might whet the appetite for summer days, picnics, an caravanning off into the great unknown; or it might just be a bunch of pretty pictures if the former isn't your cup of tea. Anyway, these are generally labelled and classed as Gypsy images although we know that this is often seen as an … Continue reading Historic Romani Caravan Paintings
I'm always keeping an eye out on the web for interesting living vehicles, rolling homes, and related Traveller - Modern Nomad stuff. The right key words and a little luck on historic image sites land a lot of photos, but often with little real information about the vehicle in question. As I was rummaging through … Continue reading A few more Vardos (sort of) from Around the Web
If you cycle, you can probably empathize with this. The wind can be a nightmare but can also be a blessing.
“About going where he likes, for instance? Are there not certain laws of the road that forbid the tarrying by the way of caravan folks, for a longer period than that necessary to water and feed a horse or look at his feet? By night, again, he may spy a delightfully retired common, with nothing … Continue reading Ode to the “Wanderer”
A little something for Wagon Wednesday. A simple bow-top accommodation. Very little of the wagon is seen in the image but we can rest assured that it was painted green at one time. Hedley picked up some fine details here including bolts, boards, the tarp attachment, and a very nice little driving lamp. Last in … Continue reading An Open Lot Accommodation
“Have nothing in your house that you do not know to be useful, or believe to be beautiful.” — William Morris I have come across these words many times in my long quest for a decent life. Sometimes when you read something it just rings true. William Morris really strikes a chord deep down in … Continue reading Choosing Our Stuff
John Harris-Stone, M.A. on the road in Britain ca.1910s. Living the idyllic life. Mr. Harris-Stone and dog setting up camp. Chimney, removed for travel, in the lower left foreground.
The Lady-Go-Lightly. It's difficult to get a real feel for the caravans without a glimpse inside. This image isn't very detailed but shows the essentials; kettle, mirror, some basic utensils, and folding chair. All standard fare for the early caravaners.
The ladies having lunch outside the Tally Ho! ca. 1910. A fine little wagon with mollycroft and Persienne shutters.
Getting back to our theme of traveler's, caravans, and other wanderers of the world... a few images from Pascal Dagnan-Bouveret a French Naturalist Painter of the late 19th and early 20th centuries. I believe I would enjoy siting around this campfire. Once a common scene, now virtually lost in an era of loud, fume-belching machinery. … Continue reading Traveler’s Life
Some advice from 1890... How things change.