When setting up shop it is important to set your tools and surfaces to the optimal working height. Here is some advice for setting up your mechanic's vise for best use. Now, get to work...
Ode to the Wanderer, the First Land Yacht
“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, the First Land Yacht
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.
Classic Liquid Fuel Stoves
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
Happiness in Simplicity
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
Bike Trekker – Allen Hastings Fry
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
Turn-of-the-Century Vardo Style
The Lady Go Lightly... Images from:
The World is Your Workshop
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
Tents and the Vardo Life; What is a Bender?
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?
A Romany Family in Scotland
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
Motor Car Tool Kit ca. 1907
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
A Carpenter’s Workshop
Someday, I'll have one this nice again... Click the image for a much larger version.
More Historic Caravans in Art
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