From: Bill Graham on

"Wilba" <usenet(a)CUTTHISimago.com.au> wrote in message
news:0088d7a5$0$26867$c3e8da3(a)news.astraweb.com...
> Bill Graham wrote:
>> Savageduck wrote:
>>> Wilba said:
>>>> Savageduck wrote:
>>>>> Savageduck said:
>>>>>> Wilba said:
>>>>>>> Savageduck wrote:
>>>>>>>> Wilba said:
>>>>>>>>>
>>>>>>>>> Years ago I read that left-hand drive is safer overall, because
>>>>>>>>> when a
>>>>>>>>> person is startled they tend to raise their non-dominant hand to
>>>>>>>>> protect
>>>>>>>>> their head. If at the time they are steering a car on the left of
>>>>>>>>> the
>>>>>>>>> road, 9 out of 10 will therefore sverve into oncoming traffic.
>>>>>>>>> Apparently the effect is statistically significant.
>>>>>>>>
>>>>>>>> It seems we left our history far behind. Have you ever noticed
>>>>>>>> where
>>>>>>>> the
>>>>>>>> good old Wells Fargo stage coach driver sat, ...on the right,
>>>>>>>> shotgun
>>>>>>>> on
>>>>>>>> the left.
>>>>>>>
>>>>>>> Don't see many of them 'round these here parts. :- )
>>>>>>
>>>>>> Note the driver on the left.
>>>>>> http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/4/41/Concord_stagecoach_1869.png
>>>>>
>>>>> Sorry, that was the right, the shot gun was on the left.
>>>>> Now I don't know my left from my right!
>>>>
>>>> I worked that out. :- )
>>>>
>>>> I wonder why they did it that way, since the driver is on the ejector
>>>> side...? Maybe the convention pre-dates the widespread use of repeating
>>>> rifles.
>>>
>>> I think it was a case of right handed shotgun shooters out numbering
>>> left handed shooters. That way they wouldn't have to replace a driver
>>> every time a left handed guard blew the driver away. Maybe a
>>> qualification for shotgun guards was to be right handed.
>>>
>>> Maybe there was a rule of the road that stagecoach robbers had a "rob
>>> from left side" only sense of etiquette. ;-)
>>
>> Maybe it had something to do with which side the shells were ejected from
>> when the rifle action was worked....It would be very annoying to the
>> driver if the hot shell casings were ejected into his face while he was
>> trying to get away from the bad guys.....
>
> But in that photo the driver is on the ejector side.
>
I don't know how you can tell....different rifles eject the shells to
different sides.....As I remember, the M1 (used by US soldiers in WW-II,
ejected the shells to the right, but I have seen other guns that ejected
them to the left side....

From: Wilba on
Neil Harrington wrote:
> Wilba wrote:
>>
>> Years ago I read that left-hand drive is safer overall, because when a
>> person is startled they tend to raise their non-dominant hand to protect
>> their head.
>
> I question that. In the only near-head-on accident I ever had in my life,
> I instinctively threw up my right hand (the dominant one) just before
> impact. Broke my right wrist on the windshield.

I have more faith in a statistical analysis of scientific data than in a
single anecdote. :- )


From: Wilba on
Savageduck wrote:
>
> Well here is a photo of a stagecoach, driven from the right, and with the
> type on the coach correct and not mirror imaged.
> http://www.old-picture.com/old-west/pictures/Stagecoach-Western.jpg
>
> and anothers of what seems to be of great character drivers (on the right)
> http://www.legendsofamerica.com/photos-oldwest/Deadwood%20stagecoach.jpg
> http://www.owensvalleyhistory.com/cerro_gordo2/stage_coach.jpg

The answer is obvious - the brake lever is on the right for the benefit of
right-handed drivers.


From: Wilba on
R. Mark Clayton wrote:
>
> Japanese by contrast has an immensely complex verbal structure,

Hmm, "immensely complex verbal structure" is the exact opposite of my
experience with Japanese. I can explain everything you need to know about
Japanese pronounciation in 5 minutes. As long as we're not talking about
kanji, if you can see a word written you can pronounce it well, and if you
hear a word clearly you can write it correctly, because of the simple
phonemic structure.

> ... three scripts and numerous other convolutions that mean Japanese
> children do well to be fully conversant by the time they leave school
> and foreigners have negligible chance of becoming conversant even
> after living a year in the country.

I guess you're talking about kanji, plus having three other mutually
exclusive ways of writing, but the spoken language itself is very simple
compared to English.


From: Wilba on
Wilba wrote:
> Bill Graham wrote:
>> Savageduck wrote:
>>> Savageduck said:
>>>> Wilba said:
>>>>> Savageduck wrote:
>>>>>> Wilba said:
>>>>>>>
>>>>>>> Years ago I read that left-hand drive is safer overall, because when
>>>>>>> a person is startled they tend to raise their non-dominant hand to
>>>>>>> protect their head. If at the time they are steering a car on the
>>>>>>> left
>>>>>>> of the road, 9 out of 10 will therefore sverve into oncoming
>>>>>>> traffic.
>>>>>>> Apparently the effect is statistically significant.
>>>>>>
>>>>>> It seems we left our history far behind. Have you ever noticed where
>>>>>> the good old Wells Fargo stage coach driver sat, ...on the right,
>>>>>> shotgun on the left.
>>>>>
>>>>> Don't see many of them 'round these here parts. :- )
>>>>
>>>> Note the driver on the left.
>>>> http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/4/41/Concord_stagecoach_1869.png
>>>
>>> Sorry, that was the right, the shot gun was on the left.
>>> Now I don't know my left from my right!
>>
>> Are you sure the picture wasn't reversed? I don't see the, "Wells Fargo"
>> logo written anywhere, so it could have been......Back in the "film"
>> days, that happened a lot.......I wonder, is it possible to get a digital
>> picture reversed?
>
> "The express messenger [armed guard] for stagecoaches typically rode in a
> seat on top of the coach, next to the driver (this was usually on the
> driver's left, since stage drivers typically sat on the right)" -
> http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Shotgun_messenger
>
> But if they were mostly using double-barrelled shotguns, there's no
> to-the-right ejection.

After seeing the other photos, it's clear to me that the driver sat on the
right because the brake lever was on that side (for operation by the
right-handed majority).