I was going through my copy of " THOSE WONDERFUL OLD AUTOMOBILES" by Floyd Clymer and I found this on page 130. OK it is an ad for Chevrolet but it reads; First Aid For Doctors, Chevrolet Utility Coupe. It includes a mammoth rear compartment for instruments, sickroom supplies and luggage. Maybe this is where it all started? The year was 1923.
The term "doctor's coupe" or "physician's coupe" pre-dates the automobile. It is a type of horse carriage.
Ford printed a piece of advertising literature titled " The doctor and has car" which showed a doctor walking toward a Model T coupe. an attempt to lure doctors, probably amoung the most wealthy of any community out of the hoss an buggy era
How about Depot Hack? I always thought they were station wagons. Who dreamed that one up?
Depot Hacks and station wagons are the same things. They were for hauling people and luggage from the train stations to hotels.
The term "station wagon" pre-dates the automobile and is a type of horse carriage/wagon.
Likewise, "depot hack" also pre-dates the automobile. (A "hack" is a coach or carriage for hire.)
As I indicated in a prior thread, many automobile terms, such as those applied to body styles, were carried over from the horse and carriage.
Vehicles which doctors used, in my umble opinion, predate the horseless carriage. They were a kind of test bed for horse drawn carriage design because doctors had status and racked up the most miles on their vehicles. I have read about this in 18th & 19th century British hisory.
For the Model T it was a way of confering status, reliability eg "Doctor" in their promotional literature. Doctors drive an inexpensive reliable vehicle so they can either make more money or pass the savings on to their patients.... something we haven't seen since classic car times!
Could the coupe part derived from "toupe", or hair piece by adding the "C" therefore detracting from the feeling of being "couped up" but having a rag on top without bothering with the decorum of the real rag top wig.
Coupes are for chickens.
The term "doctor's coupe" was coined by a guy named Marshal Daut. He just loved the sound of it and thought it was very fitting for the car.
Oh, remind me never to go to Iowa!
I know Marshall will appreciate this
Found in Wikipedia
A coupé (from the French verb couper, to cut) or coupe is a car body style, the precise definition of which varies from manufacturer to manufacturer, and over time. Coupés are often sporty variants of sedan (or saloon—see American and British English spelling differences) body styles, reduced from 4 doors to 2, with a close-coupled interior offering either two seats or 2+2 seating (space for two passengers up front and for two occasional passengers in the rear). Before the days of motorized vehicles, the word referred to the front or after compartment of a Continental stagecoach.
A derivitive of the term coupe, "Doctor's Coupe" was conceived by a Marshall Daut of the Model T Ford Club. Marshall was instrumental in researching the term and first coining it referring to his Model T. A search of the Model T archives will show the frustration in bringing this term to light. The Model T world owes him a huge Thank You for his continued effort in researching the term and occasionally reintroducing it's definition.
When I had a depot hack, I was told that 'Depot' referred to the train depot and hack means 'horseless carriage.' Therefore, a depot hack was a taxi that carried people from the train depot to their hotel - among other places.
I miss that old hack!
Actually the term dates back to 1674, when a physician with a penchant for cabinetry sought a cure for smallpox after a local epidemic. The good doctor was anguished by the hundreds of deaths from the pox and set about finding a cure. His hunch was that the antidote would be found in the taking of simple precautions, such as keeping warm and dry. Dr. Koop was convinced that traveling about in open carriages was the major cause of the disease, since the air encountered by travelers allowed them to pass through wooded or swampy areas infected by strange “humours” that were a detriment to health.
He was a remarkably tall man for his day, and his appearance was made all the more remarkable by his spare frame and high black turban, which he customarily wore to hide his persistently bald scalp (a condition exacerbated by his constant head scratching as he considered and discarded many possibilities as to a cure for the pox). Also of a superstitious turn of mind—a not uncommon condition among early Sawbones--Dr. Koop was convinced that, once worn, if his turban was ever removed, he would be instantly stricken with amnesia.
One evening, in a inspired vision, he pictured the solution to both problems: an unusually tall and narrow enclosed carriage or coach in which he would be protected from "humours" and also be able to keep his turban in place. He set to work the following morning and soon had built the coach as he had sketched it out. Soon, the unusual carriage became a familiar sight in the countryside as Dr. Koop made his ponderous way around. Since the vehicle proved to be quite top-heavy, the dignified pace at which he drove didn’t lend itself well to the succoring of patients in dire medical straits, and the poor doctor was soon forced to leave the area after losing most of the sick, who tended to expire as they waited long for Dr. Koop's arrival. However, he left in remarkably good health, and the surviving remnant of patients deduced that it must have been due to his odd coach. The design was soon copied, and dozens of “doctor koops” were seen all over the region. Since French culture, at that time, defined high fashion, it was only a short time before an enterprising carriage builder with a taste for elegance as well as business renamed the coach a “Doctor's Coupe.”
R.V., if do-do were music,you'd be a brass band!(G)
Who cares what you call your Model T....I've called my T names on occasion that cannot be printed here out of respect...
The ugly winter is getting to your alleged minds, flatlanders, RV and Gunny. You've been couped up too long.
They're coming at you from all sides, Marshall; is the long winter getting to you, too? When are you moving back to Aridzona?
RV, you should also bring our recent surgeon general, Dr. Everett Koop, into your story.
Great writing, guys!
R.V. - It is my understanding that Dr. Koop had a passionate affair with one of his patients until his wife found out. She then kicked him out of the cottage and he slept in the chicken coup. (They didn't have dog houses back then.) The chickens were not good company, so he slept in his car. When the towns people found out they would remark about Dr. Koop going from living in the chicken coup to living in his car, hence, the car became the 'Doctors Coup.'
To "Dagunny": Double AAAARRRGGGHHHH!!!!! Gee, thanks alot! Now my name will forever be associated with this travesity against the English language in general and against automotive terminology in specific. "Marshall Daut" and "Doctor's Coupe" linked in the same sentence without a negative, such as "never existed", "impossible", "no way!", "just in the classifieds", or even "only in Stan Howe's mind!". Yikes! Too gruesome to even think about.
So, I supposedly coined the phrase "Doctor's Coupe", eh? Well, like FoMoCo, I want royalties paid to me everytime someone uses my invention, whether that be in regards to products sold with "Doctor's Coupe" printed on them or use of the term on websites and in magazines. I'm going to backtrack through every magazine and book ever printed and through all messages ever posted on any website where "Doctor's Coupe" appeared and send a nasty note about copyright enfringement, as well as enclosing a bill for said unauthorized usage. After I've completed all of that this afternoon, I'm going to go to work for FoMoCo's Public Relations Department, since I obviously possess all the attributes necessary to function such an environment. As long as people continue to bandy "Doctor's Coupe" around, you're all gonna pay!!! I might as well profit by other people's ignorance!
Now aren't you sorry that you saddled me with this specious "Doctor's Coupe" parentage?
Marshall "Is there a 'Doctor's Coupe' in the House?" Daut
Marshall, Good luck collecting .(G) I know Stan isn't going to pay you.
Glad we found a scape goat in M.D., rather M.V.D. (oops).
Actually I am booking a "Southwest cabin fever" flight today from Chicago where it is just white (the kind that won't melt til spring) for Arizona which is my birthplace and a few days in LA (yea surfs up) to recover from over exposure to Arizona relatives (not sun).
When people I meet in Chicago find out where I'm from they stop and stare and say: "You don't look dumb!".
I know I's a pretty lame excuse for someone with a heated garage!
Coupe, coup and coop are three distinct words:
- Coupe as in a type of carriage or automobile
- Coup as in military coup
- Coop as in chicken coop
A hack is not a horseless carriage, but a coach or carriage for hire (among other definitions). Note that as times changed, a coach could be a carriage or a motorized vehicle.
The French word coupe' was originally used to describe a carriage which has a compartment for passengers, but the driver is out in the open. The terms physician's coupe and doctor's coupes, as I have posted a few times before, pre-date the automobile. They are legitimate terms to describe an enclosed, typically two passenger carriage. Unlike the French coupe', the carriage driver sits in the compartment. Look at a typical period trade publication (1850 to 1900) or maybe even an old Sears Catalog and you will see that there were carriage builders in the U.S. that specifically identified certain models in their line-ups as doctor's coupes or physician's coupes. From a marketing standpoint, doctors did make house calls and a doctor's coupe allowed them to be protected from the elements.
Unless someone can prove otherwise, Ford never listed "Doctor's Coupe" in its lineup or sales brochures. Coupe - yes! Doctor's coupe - no! Other automobile manufacturers at the time MAY have listed their coupes as doctor's coupes in their lineup/literature.
There are a number of automobile terms that pre-date the automobile and come from horse and carriage terminology. It's not difficult to understand that these terms were carried over to automobiles.
Conserve server space - get a good dictionary and a library card. Also - don't believe everything you read on the internet.
How much did Marshall pay you???(G)
Please go back to the top a read what I posted in the first place. What I was trying to state, is this ad may have been the what started people in modern times to call it a Doc. coupe. Yes like hack, station wagon, shooting brake (sp) etc, these names go way back.
Erik, some misspellings are intentianal.
BTW, What's the difference between a misspelling and a typo?
Jack Daron - I'll be sending Erik a portion of my "Doctor's Coupe" franchise royalties on a quarterly basis.
At least in Erik there is ONE other rational person on this website, who calls a coupe a coupe without flinching. (snicker, snicker) Now, if we can just get Stan Howe to fall into line (and not on his face, the usual practice), we might be able to finally drive the criminally misused term "Doctor's Coupe" from the face of the earth. Can't the Cyber-Censor somehow be programmed to kick back this non-existent term when someone tries to post it? (usually in the classifieds or on ScrewBay)
Marshall, defender of the English language (or is that "anguish"?)
Marshall,I'm glad that we as a collective group have awaken you from your Winter slumber and now that your blood pressure is up to normal you can remain awake,jovial, and courtious for the rest of Spring. Stay well.
Why do chicken coops have two doors?
Because, if it had four doors, it would be a chicken sedan.
Hi Mark. When you post a question, sometimes the thread takes on a life of its' own, taking courses, that, many times, have nothing to do with the original thread and it is interesting to watch the various paths the answers take as they veer away from and come back to the original question.
I doubt when Henry or others coined the term "Doctors coupe", they were aware of the history of the plague going back to the 17th century or Dr. Koop, or chicken coops. Ford was a mechanical genius, but like most people of this era, was a simple man with little time for reading. Mr. Ford was not all that educated or interested in history, as is evidenced by his very famous quote: "History is bunk!". He was interested only in advertising and in getting the public interested in buying his Model T and he did it by appealing to their base emotions and fond memories and the only reason the term "Doctor's Coupe" was coined was because the vast public could relate to it from their personal experience and/or memories. One of the problems was, however, that most families at this time, were big, so how do you appeal to people to look twice at a contraption that barely holds two people with a low trunk that might hold one bag?
When the Model T first came out, the horse drawn carriage was still fresh in people's minds. As a matter of fact there were still, many on the roads that the Model T had to compete with. One type of carriage that was prevalent in everyone's mind during this time was a small, two person, four wheeled, horsedrawn carriage (buckboard), with a small area in the back for supplies and had a canopy that sheltered only the driver and a passenger. Doctors were most associated with these carriages as they made their rounds in them. These carriages were small, easy to handle, easy to maneuver and light enough to be drawn by just one horse, which cut down on cost and maintenance and made them easy for one man to hitch up for late night emergencies. When the Model T coupe was introduced, it was noticed by everyone that it looked a whole lot like the old Doctor's horsedrawn carriages that they recall seeing carrying the Doctor across the countryside making his rounds. In seizing on this observation, Ford was simply taking advantage of an opportunity of getting folks to give up their carriages in favor of the new car, by appealing to the fond memories they had of the good old days and a carriage that was reliable, easy to drive, efficient, and easy for one person to maintain, thus, the "Doctor's Coupe" was born. This is how I see it. Jim Patrick
PS. I'm sure that, as pointed out earlier, the term, "Doctor's Coupe", was coined much earlier in history than the Model T era, but my scenario above is meant to illustrate how the term may have come about, as it relates to Model T's, which is, I believe, what Mark was asking. Jim
Ford's booklet, "The Doctor and His Car" (c. 1912) extols the virtues of the Torpedo, the Commercial Roadster, and the Touring Car for use by physicians. There is no mention or picture of the Coupe in this booklet.
Mike, That might be because, as mentioned in the Model T Encyclopedia on this site, in 1909, there were only 47 coupes made, in 1910, 187 were made, in 1911, only 45 coupes were made, in 1912, only 19 were made, and in 1913, only 1 was made and in 1914, none were made, so it appears that in the first five years of production, Ford was unsure if it even wanted to make a closed coupe, so why highlight it in a book. The couplet, however did start to be manufactured in 1915, en mass through 1917 when in 1918, the closed coupe re-appears for the first time since 1913.
On the other hand, in 1912, there were over 13,300 Torpedo Runabouts made, and they too looked a whole lot like the Doctor's carriages of old, so it stand to reason, that the Torpedo Runabout would be the one mentioned in a book.
Perhaps, once the decision had been made to adopt the closed coupe permanently, as a serious Model T style and it became necessary for Ford to come up with a reason for people to accept the small two person closed car, with limited capacity, it was a catchier advertising slogan to say "Doctor's Coupe" as opposed to "Doctor's Torpedo Runabout". Just a theory. Jim
That's a good point, Jim -- I hadn't thought about the low production numbers for those early Coupes. And the Torpedo and Commercial Roadster did look a lot like the typical "Doctor's Buggy". (I saw Doc Adams driving one of those on Gunsmoke, so I know it must be accurate.)
Personally I think these coupes should have been called the "Salesman Coupe" since back before the malls and big box stores. Salesmen went house to house to sell their wares. Remember the salesman samples like the miniature cook stoves or parlor stoves that they carried and would show the house wife or farmer. The guy selling Fuller brushes, the guy selling lighting rods and list goes on and on. If you go back through some of the old magazine they were always trying to get guys to sell the products using this door to door method.
I remember reading an ad in an old magazine stating that the Ford coupe was the Ideal car for the salesman. I think more salesmen ended up using these coupes then the doctors. Sorry for diverting the thread again. Bob