The  Kinross  Omnibus

Kinross W. & Co. Stirling, Scotland, Manufacturers exhibited a City omnibus, to carry nineteen passengers inside, with abundant ventilation, &c.  Exhibit 898 was awarded a silver medal in the Machinery Class 5 at the 1851 “Exhibition of the Industry of All Nations” at Crystal Palace, London. 

The following account is taken from the Stirling Observer, 3rd April 1851, page 4.

Victoria's tartan

“GREAT EXHIBITION. - We have noticed everything that came within our knowledge which has been sent from this neighbourhood to the Great Show, and thought that our task concerning this matter had been accomplished, till on Monday last we were informed that the Messrs Kinross, coachbuilders, had an omnibus, to be forwarded on Tuesday, the last day allowed by the committee for receiving such articles.  The omnibus is a splendid machine for carrying people along the streets of a great town.  It is called “Victoria,” and its body is painted in the fashion of the Queen's tartan.  It is so large as conveniently to accommodate 19 persons inside, with space for something like double the number outside, if required.  It can be drawn either by two or three horses, and the inside passengers, if under six feet, can stand upright in the centre, and when going in or out there is a brass railing to catch by, on each side, where the central elevation starts.  Special care has been taken to strengthen the springs, in case of such a heavy load as may sometimes be understood to be on it, by adding supernumerary springs, and placing them upon the same centre as the main spring, but shortening the extra spring by about one-third of the true spring, and so thus, when the omnibus becomes heavy, these second springs come into play in support of the others.  There is another improvement of a valuable character - the drag, which is wrought by the foot of the driver, lays hold of both sides of the wheel at once, and also of both of the back wheels at the same time, and thus the greatest degree of safety is secured.  Upon the whole, this is a greatly-improved vehicle for conveying large numbers of the lieges, and there is not a doubt but it will ex-tend the reputation of the Messrs Kinross, who make a great many street omnibuses.  Notwithstanding its great size, it is yet a handsome carriage.  Thus our coach-builders are keeping up with the times, and are not afraid to set their work down beside the first-rate workmanship in the world.  It is no small credit to such a place as Stirling to have contributed so largely to the Great Exhibition.”

Great Exhibition 1851.  Official Descriptive and Illustrated Catalogue
Great Exhibition 1851.  Official Descriptive and Illustrated Catalogue

Works History Index See The Carriages