July 1st, 2008

Wheelchairs in Victorian London

Setting: An alternate version of London, with technology and culture roughly equivalent to our Victorian Era.  

Research: I've Googled "history of wheelchairs" and some variations, and read the Wikipedia article on wheelchairs.

My character is a wealthy young man in his twenties who was crippled in a fall when he was a teenager and is unable to walk.  I've discovered that wheelchairs did exist in the late nineteenth century, but I have not found any details.  

First of all, how might he get around town?  Would his chair be able to fit into a standard cab or carriage, or would he need to make special arrangements?  Also, would wheelchairs of the time be light enough that a rather athletic man could carry one (unoccupied) up a flight of stairs?  

Money is no obstacle for the character.

Any other information people may have regarding the topic would be greatly helpful.