Carriages called “sociables” were made in England during the 18th century. They were open coachman-driven carriages with two seats for passengers placed across the carriage and facing each other. According to Sir Walter Gilbey in his book “Modern Carriages” (1905), sociables began to be built again in England about 1895 as open coachman-driven carriages for ladies. In America, a sociable is sometimes called a “vis-à-vis.”
The Buchanan sociable was one of a number of carriages sent to New York to be sold for the benefit of certain charities by the Mayor of Hamilton, Bermuda, after motor vehicles were allowed for private use on the island in 1946. The sociable was presented to Mr. Seabrook for his part in finding buyers for the other carriages, through the agency of Max Kriendler, one of the owners of the ’21 Club, New York, as referred to in the description of the game cart trap.
Buchanan & Co. was a substantial carrriage-building firm in Glasgow, serving the well-to-do families of that busy city and the neighbouring counties.