The original rental car company

This could be about 1890-1900 – there appears to be a distinct lack of power or phone lines. It’s thought the stables were situated about where Iguana Restaurant is today in Victoria Street.

Note the head sign – Hamilton Horse Bazaar. Dalgliesh & Co feature in the 1910 New Zealand Post Office Directory and have a half-page advertisement.

Livery and Bait Stables must have been a profitable business to afford such marketing. You can see from the signwriting that they obviously own horses and buggies – the original ‘rental car company’ – and they run coaches to ‘meet all trains’. What they don’t spell out, though in those days it would have been instantly understood by all, is what are ‘livery’ and ‘bait’?

Dr Johnson’s dictionary (which pre-dates this photo a little) defines livery as ‘giving or taking possession’. Bait is defined as ‘stopping on a journey for refreshment’. Later dictionaries define livery (as in stables) as looking after and feeding the horse.

So, here at Dalgleish and Co a horse could be stabled, fed and groomed on a daily charge. Bait is the snack – the between meal snack. If you were stopping your journey to enjoy the table of one of Hamilton’s finer eateries of the time, you would leave your horse at the bait stable where they would perhaps give it some water and some hay or chaff. No grooming or stabling was involved in ‘bait’. According to one dictionary, ‘bait’ is still in colloquial use for the travelling public in Yorkshire.

Hamilton Central Libraries

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4 thoughts on “The original rental car company

  • October 31, 2011 at 9:15 am

    Wow that is so interesting! It is great to learn about the history of Hamilton! Thanks heaps! Keep up the good work!

    • December 27, 2011 at 10:16 am

      Being an older ex Hamiltonian, I can remember the old horse bazaar or at least a building referred to as that. It was adjacent to the William Paul hall / Bledisloe hall (Waikato Winter Show buildings) and was still there in the late 1950’s. I seem to recall that it was demolished around the time the old Hamilton Railway station was removed an relocated to the Waikato university campus. There’s a calendar with a coloured picture of it for sale on trademe at present (as at 27.12.11) their ref 435166286. I hope this helps.

  • January 4, 2012 at 2:34 pm

    Thank you Bruce. Yes, I think there may be a photo of the horse bazaar you mention coming up in the near future. And thanks also for the note about the calendar. It looks like an excellent artifact to get hold of. Thanks for your interest.


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